Tom Tancredo: I Will Run For Colorado Governor if GOP Candidates Don't Drop Out

Tom Tancredo.

Former GOP congressman and presidential candidate Tom Tancredo is vowing to run for governor in his home state of Colorado if the two Republican candidates do not drop out of the race.

Tancredo, a fierce opponent of illegal immigration, told the Denver Post he plans to run as the American Constitution Party candidate if Scott McInnis and Dan Maes do not pull out. (He could also potentially run as a write-in candidate.)

The former congressman argues that McInnis and Maes can't win a statewide race against Democrat John Hickenlooper. He says they should agree to step aside following the August 10 GOP primary so that Republicans can appoint a different candidate. McInnis has been dogged by plagiarism charges, and the little-known Maes has faced campaign finance violations.

Tancredo, who cannot jump into the primary race at this point, says he doesn't care whether or not he is the Republican appointee. He dismisses concerns that he would split the Republican vote if he enters the race on a third-party line, handing the governorship to Hickenlooper.

"There's nothing left to split," Tancredo told the Post. "The reality is that with the two candidates we have, we will lose the general election."

Tancredo gave the candidates until noon Monday to accept his demand and leave the race. Both told the Post that they would not do so.

Tancredo, who has aligned himself with the Tea Party movement, suggested earlier this month that "the greatest threat to the country that was put together by the founding fathers is the guy that is in the White House today." He says the Obama administration is running a "socialist government" and that the president "is a committed socialist ideologue."