Maybe it’s the thin air and lack of oxygen in his district in Colorado that compelled Rep. Tom Tancredo to fly east to New Jersey, and inflame an already emotional situation.
Maybe it was the possibility of getting some national attention for his failing presidential campaign on the backs of the families who lost loved ones in the recent killings in Newark.
According to the latest Gallup poll [conducted August 13-16], Tancredo is running just under 1%, up from less than .5% a month ago. That places him somewhere after “Who?” “Other” and “No Opinion”. And, the poll has a margin of error of plus/minus 4%, so he could place as low as MINUS 5%: Candidate Less Than Zero.
But nothing could place him lower than what he did in Newark: He flew in from the 6th Congressional District in Colorado, and stood on the steps of the Newark City Hall. He then blamed local elected officials for the killings. He told a small crowd of supporters and a larger crowd of protesters, “If the suspects are found guilty, Newark and its political leadership share a degree of responsibility…I encourage the family of the victims to pursue a lawsuit against the city.”
Those same officials found Tancredo’s accusations offensive and inflammatory.
Mayor Booker said, “These folks descend from out of town to protest in front of City Hall at this time; I find that troubling…Talking about anyone being complicit in such a heinous crime — I find those words vulgar.”
Paula T. Dow, the Essex County prosecutor, said, “I think it’s absolutely abysmal that anyone would challenge and accuse or lay the blame on the Newark Police Department or anyone in law enforcement for the status of Carranza.”
Well-said, Mayor and Prosecutor.
Tancredo is a right-wing Republican opportunist who has been named one of the “Ten Worst Congressman” by Rolling Stone Magazine.
The stunt in Newark was not his first:
In September 2006, when Pope Benedict XVI sparked riots by condemning Islam as "evil," Tancredo urged him not to apologize.
Even his own Party thinks ill of him:
During a 2005 radio interview on Orlando talk-radio station WFLA AM 540 he proposed that America respond to any future terrorist attack by bombing Mecca and other holy sites. The conservative National Review described him , Tancredothusly: "Tom Tancredo is an idiot."
His statement drew extensive criticism from the Council for American-Islamic Relations and a deputy spokesman for the State Department, told CNN that the congressman’s comments were "reprehensible" and "absolutely crazy."
In November 28, 2006, Tancredo was quoted in several news sources as referring to the city of Miami, Florida as a "Third World country”, curing the wrath of then-Governor Jeb Bush who called him “naïve”.
Tom, next time the urge to fly to the Garden State strikes you, stay home in the Centennial State.