This below is from today’s (12/4) Wall Street Journal Political Diary.
But first, a personal note: I go to Miami fairly regularly and have done so since the early 1980s. In fact, I was there three times in the last two weeks. I have watched the city transform over the past 25 years from a crime-ridden and dingy place to a economically healthier, cleaner and safer place. This happened in spite of — and in some measure because of — the same changing demographics of the city that upsets the Tancredo-style populists.
Gov. Bush is right: Tancredo is a nut and detriment to the GOP and the nation.
— Philip Blumel
Republicans don’t know what Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, the nation’s leading anti-immigration spokesman, plans to do in 2008. Some think he will launch a Pat Buchanan-like run for president while others point to the likely retirement of GOP Senator Wayne Allard of Colorado, creating an open seat for Mr. Tancredo to run for.
In any event, controversy is sure to dog the publicity-savvy Mr. Tancredo. He recently stirred the pot when he said ethnically-diverse Miami resembled a “Third World country” and that “you would never know you were in the United States of America.” That prompted Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who lived in Miami before his election, to defend the city. Mr. Tancredo promptly accused Mr. Bush of being “naïve” and said he was trying to “create the illusion of Miami as a multiethnic ‘All American’ city.”
The Florida governor then called a halt to the exchange. “What a nut,” the president’s brother told reporters. “I’m just disappointed that he’s a Republican. He doesn’t represent my views.” What worries Republicans, including many who believe that secure borders are important, is that Mr. Tancredo’s in-your-face approach to immigration could either overshadow other candidates in the early 2008 primaries or lead to the loss of yet another Colorado Senate seat.
— John Fund