DENVER – Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo, whose forceful opposition to illegal immigration vaulted him to national prominence, plans to announce he is abandoning his long-shot bid for the presidency, a person close to Tancredo said Wednesday.
The five-term Colorado congressman planned to make the announcement today at a news conference in Des Moines, Iowa, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for Tancredo or his campaign.
Tancredo’s campaign would only say he planned a “major announcement” today.
Tancredo has consistently polled at the back of the nine-person GOP field. He has based his campaign on opposition to illegal immigration, a top issue in many areas of the country. He has run television ads that link lax border security to terrorist attacks, rape and other crimes.
Tancredo announced in October that he would not seek a sixth term in the House, but hinted he would consider running for the Senate after his presidential bid.
Colorado will have an open Senate seat next year when Republican Wayne Allard retires.
Fears about illegal immigration boosted Tancredo’s profile, but it didn’t translate into support as reflected by his low standing in national and state polls and his limited fundraising. In part, candidates such as Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani usurped Tancredo’s hard-line stance on the issue, prompting the congressman to quip at one debate that “all I’ve heard is people trying to out-Tancredo Tancredo.”