At this point, nothing about Tom Tancredo should surprise me, but surprised I was when he said Saturday he'd vote for Democratic State Sen. Morgan Carroll over Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman.
After Tancredo lashed into Coffman for caring about nothing except staying in office, KNUS host Craig Silverman asked Tancredo if he'd vote for Carroll over Coffman, if Tanc lived in Aurora where the Coffman and Carroll are battling each other in one of the closest congressional races in the country.
And Tancredo, whose Congressional seat was won by Coffman (with Tanc's support) after Tancredo stepped down, said he'd vote for the Democrat.
Silverman: Former Congressman Tom Tancredo says, 'Vote for Morgan Carroll over Mike Coffman.' Do I have it right?
Tancredo: You got it right.
But, I told Tancredo in a subsequent phone call, Coffman is much more hostile to immigrants than Carroll.
Coffman opposed a 2013 bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill, which included a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and Coffman still stands against the measure. Coffman is opposed to birthright citizenship, which allows children of undocumented immigrants born on U.S. soil to be citizens. Coffman is also against a provision in the Voting Rights Act that requires some jurisdictions to provide dual-language ballots.
I told Tancredo I couldn't see how he'd favor Morgan Carroll, who, for example, has attacked Coffman for opposing the bipartisan immigration bill, and she supports a path to citizenship.
But didn't Carroll vote against the "Dream Act" in Colorado, Tancredo asked, reminding me that he'd referenced this on the radio, when he said, "Who knows, we may have something better [with Carroll]."
I told Coffman that Carroll had initially voted against providing in-state tuition for undocumented students in Colorado, but she later joined state lawmakers in passing the measure.
"With that in mind," Tancredo said after hearing this, "I guess I'd write somebody else in. That would probably be my fallback position."
Today, even with Coffman's shifts on immigration, Coffman is much more in Tancredo's immigration camp than Carroll, who's now as immigrant-friendly as they get, I told Tancredo.
Tancredo changed his mind. He wouldn't vote for Carroll.
"My point is this, more than anything else," said Tancredo. "... I am absolutely convinced that [Coffman] is a fraud. If Trump were [running] even in the district, or if [Trump] were ahead, I know that Mike Coffman would be putting ads on TV talking about how wonderful Trump is."
But does Tancredo think Coffman is sincere about his past and present opposition to the comprehensive immigration bill that Carroll supports?
"No. I don't think there's anything sincere about Mike Coffman," said Tancredo, whom Coffman once called his "hero." "Nothing that I have observed over the last several years would lead me to that conclusion, except his sincere desire to remain in Congress. So I guess I would say that's a caveat there."