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Tancredo Leaves Race, Endorses Romney


Tancredo exits the stage. (AP).

By Michael D. Shear
DES MOINES -- Saying he did not want to be a spoiler that could help nominate a candidate who would not protect the country's border, Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo quit the presidential race today and endorsed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

At a news conference, Tancredo said he did not agree with Romney on all issues, but believes that the governor has a "solid record" on immigration issues and can "go the distance."

Tancredo acknowledged that his campaign for the presidency had always been a long shot, saying that "we've always known the odds were enormous."

But he bragged of forcing all of the candidates to become more aggressive on the issue of immigration and of forcing the issue "to the forefront of the national debate."

In the most recent Washington Post/ABC poll from Iowa, where immigration is the top issue among GOP voters - only 2 percent planned to support Tancredo, but 11 percent called him best on immigration. Data also show Romney has a slight advantage among immigration voters, but faces a large deficit among those focused on social issues.

Tancredo had run a campaign almost totally focused on the need to close the country's borders and deport the 11 million immigrants who are here illegally. His critics called him xenophobic. But he never backed down on the issue that has animated his entire public career.

For more on Tancredo's announcement, see The Fix.

By Washington Post editors  |  December 20, 2007; 3:39 PM ET
 
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