Dick Lamm is a former Governor of Colorado and once pursued the Presidential nomination of Ross Perot’s Reform Party. Tom Tancredo is a former Republican Congressman and in 2010 he ran for Governor as a candidate of the American Constitution Party. Both figures were not only prominent members of third parties, but were taken quite seriously by voters and media alike.
Both commented on the occasion of Americans Elect getting on the ballot in their home state, Colorado. Americans Elect is aiming to be on the ballot in all 50 states and is well on its way to that goal.
Former Democratic Colorado Gov. Dick Lamm, who in 1996 sought the Reform Party’s nomination for president before losing to Ross Perot, called the experiment a noble idea, but raised concerns over its timing. Despite Lamm’s own dabble in third-party politics, he says now is not the time to risk taking votes away from President Barack Obama.
“I would have thought Americans Elect was a great idea at another time, but the stakes are higher than at any recent time in our history. A good idea which has become too risky for America’s future,” Lamm told The Colorado Statesmanthis week. “I would rather bear the ills we have than to fly to others we know not of.”
On the other side of the fence, conservative stalwart Tom Tancredo, who in 2010 was a candidate for Colorado governor on the American Constitution Party ticket, said he has his doubts when it comes to minor parties like Americans Elect. As a conservative, Tancredo obviously is not concerned with the outcome for Obama, but he does wonder what a minor party might do for the conservative candidate running against the incumbent president.
“The ramifications of a third party situation can sometimes be detrimental to the cause you’re trying to advance,” Tancredo said, recalling the 2008 presidential race in which he was a candidate for the Republican nomination before eventually dropping out of the race that ultimately pitted Obama against Republican Sen. John McCain. “A third-party candidate against somebody like John McCain and Barack Obama, under those considerations, you have to say to yourself, ‘What if I actually caused Obama to get elected? How could I live with myself?’”
Presumably, both figures are acquainted with the arguments against third parties as “spoilers”.