Tancredo goes on “talk radio” to launch campaign

One of my friends called this morning.  They’d been listening to WHO Radio and told me one of the presidential candidates was going to announce their candidacy on the Jan Mickelson Show.

So, I tuned in at 9:06 to hear Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo launch his bid for the White House. Here’s the Radio Iowa story.

There were tv cameras in the studio and you could hear a photographer snapping pictures during Tancredo’s comments.  I’ll transcribe the first four or five minutes so…

"Why are they here?  What have you told these people?" Tancredo jokingly asked Mickelson.

"I told them you have a confession to make," Mickelson joked.  "We only have an hour." 

Tancredo laughed.  "We’ll mail in the rest," Tancredo added.

"So you are here today with some presidential aspirations," Mickelson prompted.

"That is true.  I have chosen talk radio to make an announcement today and I have chosen it because, frankly, it has been responsible for helping develop this whole issue and it’s been about eight years that I’ve been in congress and I have done probably 1800 or more talk radio shows, and probably did 1500 with you, but anyway, a lot on the issue of illegal immigration and I am convinced to this day that issue has really pushed, I mean that the medium has pushed the issue.  It’s given me a megaphone that I never would have had that allows you to talk directly to the American people.  There’s no filter in between and you’re talking to people who care about issues.  They’re the ones who are listening and I’m convinced that it is talk radio that has allowed us to get where we are today.

"So, yea, I’m, Jan, you know, America is in a crisis of enormous proportion.  Most people really do understand it, I think.  Most communities where I go, they get the picture.  We are fighting far-flung battles in lands far away from the United States and we’re doing that to defend the nation, but this battle over immigration is really to define the nation.  We’ve got between 15 to 20 million people living here illegally.  Now, just to put that in perspective, that’s Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Houston and Philadelphia put together or six times the state of Iowa.  When you have that many people living in the country illegally, they put, of course, enormous strains on your social service system, on your educational system, on your prisons, on hospitals and health care and we all know that.  We’ve talked about that a lot.  We’ve talked about the specific impact on all of these areas and we know that Americans do understand that that’s happening.  We talk about the possibility that they really do take jobs instead of just simply coming for jobs that no other American wants.  They don’t wait in lines.  Illegal aliens don’t wait in lines.  They don’t pay the dues and to a large extent, unfortunately, they are not connecting to America.  They’re looking — many of them, I should say not all of them but certainly too many, far too many are looking at America as a place, you know, looking what the country can do for them instead of what they can do for the country.

"I think that this crisis is not only an economic crisis.  I think that it threatens the very idea of America.  The great tradition of the melting pot in America — it’s not working.  The melting pot is cracked."

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. I read the 7 Sep LA Times story on Jan Mickelson. I see that he is 58 years old. Did he serve in the military during the Vietnam war? If not, why was he exempted?