Tancredo drops out of race

… as was expected, this afternoon. The big news is his endorsement of Mitt Romney:

Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo announced Thursday that he is dropping out of the race, and that he will endorse rival Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination.

He made his announcement at a news conference in downtown Des Moines, two weeks before Iowa begins the presidential nominating process with the caucuses Jan. 3.

Tancredo, who has aggressively pushed his anti-illegal immigration message throughout the GOP primary race, had not been able to break through in the polls against his better known competitors. He and California Rep. Duncan Hunter typically polled in the single digits behind Texas Rep. Ron Paul in national surveys.

The five-term Colorado representative already announced in late October that he would not seek reelection to the House of Representatives in 2008. He said at the time that his core issue of illegal immigration has been elevated to national prominence and that he doesn’t need to remain in Congress to promote it.

“While several of the candidates appear to be committed to our cause, there are others whose records as public servants are abysmal on this issue. They have been on the other side of the battle for years and encouraging and even inviting, in a way, illegal immigrants into the country. I fear that remaining in this race, when I know I cannot win, could contribute to the nomination of one of those candidates. We have done too much. We have come too far. The stakes are way too high for me to allow that to happen” he said.

“And so today I’m doing two things that I believe are in the best interests of this cause, and that cause is, of course, a secure America. I am withdrawing from the race and I’m endorsing Governor Romney for president of the United States” Tancredo continued.

I think Tanc’s endorsement of Romney is as huge as Rep. Steve King’s endorsement of Fred Thompson earlier this week, but Tanc will have to do some explaining about that ad he ran about Romney back in July criticizing his immigration position.

Read more details about Tanc’s annoucement via Michelle Malkin. For more blogger reax, check Memeorandum.

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