Since Texas Gov. Rick Perry's debate debacle last week, commentators and conservatives alike have been questioning his readiness and looking for another presidential alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Now, Colorado's Tom Tancredo is piling on.
In a column for the Daily Caller, Tancredo, who ran twice for his party's presidential nomination in an effort to inject the illegal immigration issue into the larger debate, is slamming Perry for his soft policies on illegal immigration in Texas – and what Tancredo calls his "Muslim blind spot."
"What is not yet as widely known about Perry is that he extends his taxpayer-funded compassion not only to illegal aliens but also to Muslim groups seeking to whitewash the violent history of that religion," Tancredo writes. "Perry endorsed and facilitated the adoption in Texas public schools of a pro-Muslim curriculum unit developed by Muslim clerics in Pakistan."
Tancredo cites a study by The Center for Immigration Studies, which shows that 81% of the 279,000 jobs created in Texas in the past four years went to non-citizens, a high number of them illegal aliens, to discredit Perry's central presidential argument – that he's overseen a "Texas miracle" of job growth while the national economy continues to decline.
And in 2008, as Tancredo points out, Perry helped expand the Muslim Histories and Culture Project, a teacher-training program spearheaded by Texas Ismailis that introduces Islamic history and culture curricula into Texas schools.
While many of the GOP's 2012 contenders have sought to distance themselves with Islam, Perry, Tancredo points out, refused to endorse a proposal in the Texas legislature to outlaw Sharia law in the state.
"What is it with Republican elites like Perry?" Tancredo writes. "Do they think Republican primary voters are stupid? Does Perry think he can talk tough in defending the Texas death penalty and then waffle on border security and taxpayer support for illegal alien children? Why does he think he can claim to be the 'tea party candidate' while endorsing a whitewash of Islamic extremism in Texas schools?"
You'll note that the main authority Tancredo cites in his attack on Perry is "Islam scholar [sic] Robert Spencer, head of Jihad Watch".