Steve Bannon met with Tom Tancredo about a possible run for Colorado governor, Tancredo says

Steve Bannon met with Tom Tancredo about a possible run for Colorado governor, Tancredo says

Tom Tancredo said Thursday that he sat down with former White House strategist Stephen Bannon and hinted that the two hard-right agitators discussed the possibility of Tancredo running for Colorado governor next year.

Responding to a series of emailed questions, Tancredo wrote that Bannon was in-state following his efforts Tuesday to help Alabama arch-conservative Roy Moore beat incumbent U.S. Sen. Luther Strange in a Republican primary.

“Ok. What the hell. He is here and yes we met. Fascinating guy. No idea what else his plans are here or frankly, what brought him here. But you know he is my boss at Breitbart!” wrote Tancredo, a contributor to the far-right Breitbart News, where Bannon serves as executive chairman.

Asked whether they discussed the governor’s race, Tancredo responded with a winking emoji and the line: “come to think of it, I believe it came up.”

Attempts to reach Bannon through Breitbart were not immediately successful, but a Politico story published late Wednesday noted Bannon’s Colorado visit. Separately, one local Republican operative said Bannon was in the state talking to potential candidates about the 2018 election.

All of this comes as Tancredo again has floated the idea of pursuing Colorado’s top job after failed runs for governor in 2010 and 2014 — the first as a member of the American Constitution Party, the second as a GOP candidate.

For years, the former Republican congressman has made a name for himself as an incendiary figure in the anti-immigration movement, and he likely would find common cause with Bannon, a driving force behind of many of President Donald Trump’s policies and politics, including a travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries.

Both men also have been criticized for their past rhetoric and work, which critics see as often crossing the line into nativism or bigotry.

Bannon previously has said that Breitbart News had become a “platform for the alt-right,” an unspecific, catch-all term that includes anti-globalist and white nationalist views.

Tancredo about a decade ago said Miami had become a “Third World country” because of U.S. immigration policies — leading to a rebuke from Jeb Bush, then Florida’s governor. He also drew criticism for accusing President Barack Obama of being a more serious threat to the U.S. than the terrorism group al-Qaida.

In August, Tancredo said he was weighing another run for governor after the VDARE Foundation, a white nationalist group, saw its plans for a conference in Colorado Springs cancelled; Tancredo was supposed to speak there.

Bannon meanwhile is said to be ramping up efforts nationally to find conservative candidates to challenge Republican incumbents deemed to be part of the establishment.

How Tancredo could affect Colorado’s crowded Republican field remains to be seen; in the 2014 GOP primary he received nearly 27 percent of the vote – about 3 percentage points behind the winner, Bob Beauprez.

Staff writer John Frank contributed to this report.