InnerView with Ben Goss
By Jody Hope Strogoff
Former Congressman Tom Tancredo announced Monday that he is going to run for governor of Colorado on the American Constitution Party ticket. The party’s current nominee is Ben Goss, who told The Colorado Statesman that he plans to withdraw from the race this week so that a vacancy can name a replacement.
Ben Goss plans to withdraw as the gubernatorial nominee for the American Constitution Party so that Tom Tancredo can run.
Photo by Jody Hope Strogoff/The Colorado Statesman
The committee will name Tancredo to be the nominee, Goss explained, after Tancredo switched his affiliation to the American Constitution Party within the next couple of days. Tancredo’s name would then appear on the general election ballot along with Democrat John Hickenlooper, the winner of the Republican primary on Aug. 10, and a Libertarian and an unaffiliated candidate.
Goss dropped by The Colorado Statesman office on Monday a few minutes before “high noon,” the deadline Tancredo gave Republican candidates Scott McInnis and Dan Maes to promise to drop out of the race after the primary if polls showed them trailing Hickenlooper. Goss had been in the building visiting with Colorado Right to Life officials. Goss agreed to an interview before heading to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office to find out the exact procedure for withdrawing from the race so that Tancredo could replace him as the nominee for governor. Below is a transcript of the discussion, which has been edited for length and clarity.
Colorado Statesman (CS): How do you think Tom Tancredo running for governor on the American Constitution Party will play out?
I think Maes is hapless and he’s also an inconsistent conservative. He does have some grass roots support, but I don’t think it’s going to be enough for him to overwhelm McInnis’ money at this point. I think McInnis is only staying in because the party elite does not want Maes to be the nominee. There’s already press out that, should McInnis be successful, which I anticipate that he probably will, the party will pressure him to drop.
So then the question becomes, who on earth is going to be willing to run against Tancredo?
And I think that the reality is that at this point, should McInnis win, I think he’ll probably drop out and they’ll probably put someone in that spot that they want to have gain state exposure. And it becomes a resumé-building run, it doesn’t become a real run, in my opinion. I think that the Republicans will probably concede that having Tancredo in the seat will be better than having no conservative at all.
CS: Do you really think Tancredo’s got a good shot at beating Hickenlooper?
I think that the electorate has spoken, that they’re absolutely fed up with the status quo. So I think that we’ll see a significant flow of independent voters as well as the more conservatively minded GOP and Democrats going for a Tancredo ticket.
CS: And you don’t mind stepping aside?
I have five children from the ages of 14 months to 13 years and I’m more concerned about the future of my children than I am about my own personal attempt to build my resumé or, if you will, go off on some quixotic beau geste because, let’s face it, I can’t marshal resources like Tancredo can. I fully expect that Tancredo will raise more money in the next four to five weeks than Maes has in the last 16 months combined.
On the off chance that Maes wins, he’s not going to get the financial support of outside money. He’s going to be fighting an uphill battle and you know, I think he’ll be very, very easily dispatched by Tancredo and Hickenlooper. I think that if Maes wins, he’ll look like a third party candidate.
CS: What about a running mate for Tancredo?
CS: And they’d have to be registered in the party too.
I remember in 1980 when Ronald Reagan said, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” Well, I think that’s the wrong question. Here’s the question that we should all be asking ourselves, “Will my children be better off tomorrow than I am today?” And for the first time in American history, I don’t think that parents can have the confidence of saying that, “My children’s future will be better than mine.” And that is the question at hand and that’s the reason I’m stepping aside. Because right now I can’t answer that question with confidence.
CS: How long have you known Tom?
CS: Any message to Dick Wadhams, the Chairman of the Republican Party?