I've never listened to Hugh Hewitt before. I understand that he is considered a god by some in the blogosphere, but I've never really read him that I can remember. What I have heard about Hewitt is that he is a die hard, toe the line, brown nosing Bushie Republican. So it was no surprise that he would disagree with Tom Tancredo who has regularly criticized Bush, his administration and the Republican congressmembers that support an amnesty for illegal aliens. Hewitt of course supports amnesty following along like a sheep.
He ripped Tancredo on April 3rd on his radio show blaming him for the Kennedy-McCain amnesty bill by standing firm on not providing an amnesty for illegal aliens. Hewitt also blasted Tancredo for supporting James Gilchrist in his quest for Congress over the "Republican" running in the 48th district in California. Gilchrist ended up winning 25.1% of the vote. Obviously Tancredo is a traitor in Hewitt's mind because he actually chose an issue and belief over a party. How dare he!
The other reason he may have treated Tancredo so bad on the air is pretty obvious from this post at his site.
Tom ... has been dodging the show for some time, scheduling and then canceling appearances. Today finally agreed to appear, and then showed up half-way through the segment. he originally refused to stay longer but then agreed.
Yes, it's all about Hugh Hewitt apparently. How dare Tancredo have other obligations. Why was Tancredo late and why has he not ran to Hewitt? Here's from Tancredo's blog:
Of over 25 radio programs that Congressman Tancredo was on yesterday, it was The Hugh Hewitt Show...
He was on 25 radio shows in one day and how dare he be late to Hugh Hewitt's!
So I'm listening to this interview right now (You can find it here under April 3, 2007) and Hewitt sounds arrogant and annoyed that Tancredo wouldn't step down from Congress while he's running for the primary. You can read the transcript here
Hewitt: Well, doesn’t that tell a potential supporter that you’re not really in it for good, Tom, if you’re not willing to, you know, burn the bridges and do the Sherman thing, and say I’m in it, all in?
Yeah, like Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator John McCain, Senator Barack Obama and a host of other candidates who are still holding office. It's a ridiculous argument. Taking calls after the show he said the people in the 6th district in Colorado shouldn't vote for Tancredo ever again.
Here's the part where he tried to blame Tancredo for Kennedy-McCain
Hewitt: It’s going to be…McCain-Kennedy is back, and I’m calling it, as radio talk show hosts are oft to do, it should be called the McCain-Kennedy-Tancredo bill, because I think your opposition last year to compromise made certain this year what is in essence rolling amnesty. In other words, you fought so hard against everything, that we’re now going to get stuck with Kennedy’s bill.
Tancredo: Actually, I didn’t fight hard against everything, I fought hard for the passage of the House bill, and the House bill was a great bill. And it was an enforcement only bill. And it got a majority of Republican support. And of course, we couldn’t get the Senate to go along with it, but that’s exactly where we should go again, and we should fight just as hard against a McKennedy bill this time. And we should not, you know, the idea that we’re going to get rolled, and that we’re going to get this bill, I don’t agree with you. I think that frankly, we’ve got as much strength now in the House. I talked to the leadership in the House. They’re not happy with this, they’re not going to go along with it, and so the battle is enjoined. We will see what happens, but I don’t think it’s a given.
Hewitt: If, in fact, I’m right, though, and that because the Republicans lost the House and lost the Senate, we get stuck with McKennedy again, as you call it, that’s going to be at your feet, isn’t it, Tom?
Tancredo: Are you saying, do you believe, Hugh, honestly believe that we lost the House because we lost the Hispanic vote?
Hewitt: No, I’m saying that we lost a majority because you scared so many people with anti-illegal immigration rhetoric into not compromising at a critical moment, that we lost all sorts of momentum, all sorts of credibility, we’re not getting the fence built, that you played to win. You tried to shoot the moon in Hearts terms, and we ended up with nothing, and we’re going to end up with Kennedy’s bill.
Tancredo: So if you stand for principle, if you actually believe in what you’re saying, and you’re not willing to compromise on something of this nature, then of course you, in some way, have harmed the nation? Well, I’ll tell you, if that’s the case, then I do not for a moment, well, I don’t believe for a moment that that is the case. I think that if everybody in this Congress, and the past one would have stood on principle, then…and everybody in this Congress does so, and especially Republicans, we will be rewarded with a great win in the next election.
Hewitt: I agree with you 90%, but if McKennedy ends up the bill, because of the disaster at the polls last year, do you have any responsibility in that at all?
Tancredo: Absolutely not. I have done everything I can to stop it. That is my only responsibility…and to pass good legislation. That is my responsibility. It is not to compromise on issues of this magnitude, not when you’re talking about the fact that the country is at stake, which I believe it to be.
Hewitt: And even when you get rolled in the end? So it’s better to lose…
Tancredo: That could happen. That could happen. But you know, you don’t make those decisions based on whether you can get rolled or not. At least I don’t. I base the decisions on exactly what I believe to be the right thing to do, and I’m going to continue to do that throughout my political career, however long it lasts.
Tancredo is a real stand up guy and Hewitt is an asshole trying to blame the whole loss of the Senate and House to the Democrats on Tancredo. He was even an asshole to the people who called in after the interview who supported Tancredo. He limited the calls to only two, I'm sure after realizing that they were all going to be for Tom and against him.
There are some out there who say that people like Tom Tancredo and I blame all the ills of society on illegal aliens. While that is not true I tend to believe there are people like Hugh Hewitt who seem to blame all the ills of the Republican party on Tom Tancredo.
On Hewitt's website he said the following:
Tom successfully turned up the rhetoric on an issue that matters an enormous amount to a relatively small percentage of voters, and mortgaged the majority to a single issue constituency.
Last I checked that "small percentage of voters" was about 80% of Americans who want illegal immigration ended. Talk about turning up the rhetoric.
Now we are going to get little in the way of enforcement, less in fencing, and near amnesty. We could have had three quarters of the pie and kept the majority, but we got zip and lost the majority.
Three quarters of the pie? Really? A weak ass virtual fence that has proven time and time again not to work. Enforcement actions that will never be put in place and acted on, just like in 1986. An amnesty to businesses who have hired illegal aliens. 20 million illegal aliens given amnesty. That's how Hugh feels we should have "compromised" and solved immigration last year. Absolutely ridiculous. All it would have done was encourage more illegal immigration. What's the one fourth we would have gotten? The "virtual fence"? There was nothing good in the Senate bill. The increase in Border Patrol and beds was minuscule. All the way around it was a bad bill.
To finish off the "interview" Hewitt berated Tancredo for not hanging around and also not committing to come back on his show again in advance. He also gave him some "advice" on how to run for president.
Tancredo: The thing is, Hugh, let me…one last thing.
Hewitt: I’ll keep you. Do you want to stay?
Tancredo: No, I cannot. I’ve got…I can’t do it. Again…
Hewitt: Tom, how can you run for president…
Tancredo: We will…unless I have to do to the next show the same thing I was doing to yours, in postponing it a minute or two. I’ve already done that.
Hewitt: I know, but that’s, that’s not the way to run for president. If people will talk to you about the issues, why do five minute interviews one after the other, instead of…will you come back this week for an hour?
Tom had other interviews to go to and Hewitt degrades him for leaving. After all it's all about ratings for him and Tancredo brings in ratings.
I'll never listen to Hewitt again unless there's some reason I need to defend a guest of his. I'll never read him either, not that I do now.
Of course there are die hard Republican, Hewitt brown nosers who are defending Hewitt and saying Tom is not a serious candidate, like Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters who is furious enough to equate Tancredo's endorsement of James Gilchrist (as I also did) to a gangland hit on the Republican party.
Someone who wants to lead the GOP to the White House needs to answer why he kneecapped the Republican candidate in an election in 2004.
Maybe Tancredo shouldn't run as a Republican. Of course if he ran as an Independent and then split the GOP vote then he'd be considered even more of a traitor when the Democrats won.
Lonewacko puts it most succinctly.
perhaps [Tancredo] should have informed Hewitt that sometimes you have to put country before party. Hewitt would have understood that about as well as a chimp would understand higher mathematics, but we should continue to try.