DENVER (CBS4) – Republican candidate for governor Tom Tancredo says he’s not sorry he used an obscene gesture towards a man at a campaign event.
Tancredo told CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd that if he becomes governor he’s not going to be giving people the middle finger at the Capitol, but he has no regrets about the incident caught on tape.
Emotions were already running high at a rally to recall Democratic state Sen. Evie Hudak when Tancredo showed up and held up his middle finger.
“You have to understand how this happened,” Tancredo told Boyd.
He went to the rally to help petitioners when he says a Hudak supporter began following him with a camera.
“I wasn’t speaking to him. I was walking back to the vehicle with two ladies next to me and he yells, ‘Get (expletive),’ “ Tancredo said. “And he comes over the car and leans in (motions with finger), and I flipped him off.”
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Tancredo says he gave him what he deserved.
“Look, this guy is a thug, and you have to talk to thugs in a language they understand,” he said.
“I would think that as a politician or even someone in the public eye you’d hopefully learn to use a little discretion,” said Dwayne Stephens, Jefferson County Democratic Party Chair.
Stephens says it’s inexcusable.
“I think it’s definitely inappropriate for somebody who’s running for governor to act in such a manner to be vulgar in public,” he said.
“Is this not unbecoming of someone running for governor?” Boyd asked Tancredo.
“You’re right, I’m running for governor, Tom Tancredo, now that’s who I am. I’m just a regular guy and I have the same sort of reaction to things that regular people do,” he replied.
“Politics is nasty … so every time somebody insults you, are you going to flip them off?” Boyd asked.
“It depends on the circumstances,” Tancredo said.
He said those who don’t like it, don’t vote for him.
“I will tell you this; if you vote for me you’re going to know what you’re getting,” he said.
And it may just be “the bird.”
It’s Tancredo’s second run for governor. He’s a former congressman and lightning rod for controversy. So Boyd pointed out it was’t his first run in with someone. He responded that it’s not the first time he’s flipped someone off either, it’s just the first time a camera was rolling.