Whopper of the Week: Rep. Tom Tancredo
The views of a term limits champion grow more, er, complex in Congress.
" 'We want to reinvigorate the electoral process by introducing people into the system who think of government service as a temporary endeavor, not as a career,' said Tom Tancredo, head of the Colorado Term Limit Coalition."
—"As More States Push Term Limits, Congress Wades in Nervously," by John King of the Associated Press, Aug. 2, 1994
"Tancredo was a leader of the term limits movement and has pledged to stick to the three terms that Colorado voters tried to impose on congressional representatives in 1994. We don't expect him to start backpedaling like Rep. Scott McInnis."
—"Tancredo in the Sixth," a Rocky Mountain News editorial endorsing Tancredo's first bid for Congress, Oct. 17, 1998
"Rep. Tom Tancredo apologized to his former allies in the national term limits movement on Thursday but said he's sticking by his decision to walk away from his pledge.
" 'I am sorry I let them down—because I did,' Tancredo said in a conference call with reporters. 'And I would feel the same way if I were them.' … Tancredo braced himself for a barrage of criticism over his decision because he once led Colorado's term limits movement.
"He says the national term limits movement has faded since its heyday in the mid-1990s. 'I think my decision here, it's like taking a little bit of air out of an already deflated balloon,' Tancredo said."
—" Tancredo Offers Allies Apology," by M.E. Sprengelmeyer, Rocky Mountain News, Sept. 27, 2002
Discussion. The decision by Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., to renege on his self-imposed limit of three terms in Congress expands the Society of Fraudulent Cincinnati, Washington branch, to six. The others are Rep. George Nethercutt, R-Wash.; Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass.; Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Colo.; Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont.; and Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn. Can we please retire this crusade now?
Got a whopper? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.
Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.