September 26, 2007 9:37 AM
Tancredo's takes DURING the Dem debate
The Democratic presidential contenders squared-off in New Hampshire Wednesday night on MSNBC, but the real fun was here at "Back Roads to the White House."
We assembled an all-star cast of bloggers and journalists -- including one who was posting from just outside the spin room in New Hampshire -- to comment while the debate was unfolding.
And, just for kicks, one of our featured participants was none other than:
Rep Tom Tancredo
We started out asking Tancredo if he had anything in common with any of the Democrats.
"Bill Richardson has said he supports the individual right to keep and bear arms embodied in the Second Amendment. If he remains true to that position, then I suppose he and I agree there."
But enough with saying nice things. Tancredo went on to blast Richardson several times, and he had it in for Democratic front-runner, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, from the very first question she was asked.
"Watch closely -- here comes the latest incarnation of the always changing and the ever-unpredictable Iraq position of the hour of Hillary Clinton."
Tancredo had a field day when the debate vered into talking about a national smoking ban and an issue congress is considering this week.
"With the rush to regulate microwave popcorn, crack down on SUV's, and pass a federal law to ban smoking in public places -- I'm wondering how long it will be before the Democrats announce that the new "Axis of Evil" consists of Orville Redenbacher, the Ford Explorer, and Cigar Aficianado's around the world."
The online discussion was civil -- and we didn't have to nuke any swear words from questioners like some people thought we would. But Tancredo was challenged at several points.
"BetsyR" asked -- and asked a second time:
"Rep. Tancredo, what is the name and age of the last serviceman or woman from your district to die in your war?"
Tancredo finally answered:
"Betsy -- his name was Charles L. Milam, and he was killed yesterday in Afghanistan. He is the 10th serviceman to die in Afghanistan or Iraq since the military campaign began... the 10th serviceman from my district, that is, betsy."
Tancredo ripped various Democrats when they talked about his trademark issue, opposing illegal immigration. But he never got around to answering a pointed challenge from one of our panelists, writer T.J. Sullivan of "T.J. Sullivan in L.A.".
Sullivan, a former colleague of mine from the Ventura County Star, questioned Tancredo's assertion that illegal immigrants will "simply self-deport" if there's a crackdown on employers who hire them.
"Congressman, with all due respect, what you're saying is that the American people should turn millions of their neighbors out into the street, then lock all the doors and hope they go away.
Is it possible to defend that as a humane solution?"
Unless the congressman wants to come back and post an additional response, Sullivan gets the last word on that.
Other featured participants:
* Reid Wilson of RealClearPolitics.com. (Wilson's debate preview -- posted from the site of the debate in New Hampshire -- is HERE, HERE, HERE.)
* Elizabeth Blackney, host of The Media Lizzy Show at BlogTalkRadio.
* Lynda Waddington of EssentialEstrogen.com.
* University of Iowa political science professor Dave Redlawsk -- posting from a gathering of former Sen. John Edwards' supporters.
Go to the "Comments" section -- and read from the bottom-up -- to see how the discussion unfolded, fast and furiously, in real time.
Some pundits will hedge, refusing to name a clear winner of the debate.
But, as always, we're prepared to name the night's champion.
The clear winner, for the most amusing question of the night, was Lynda Waddington, who can be found at EssentialEstrogen.com
She chimed in after the presidential candidates were asked if they approved of a children's book about same-sex marriage being read to second graders.
"How come people don't stand up and shout when we read stories to children about beautiful princesses who kiss toads?"
Tancredo ventured no reply. But they all lived happily ever after.