Gilchrist has just returned from Florida where he met with the party’s national committee.
Chairman James Clymer told WorldNetDaily the party was excited about the possibility of Gilchrist as its marquis candidate.
“Yes, indeed, we are interested,” Clymer said. “Gilchrist spoke to us last weekend in Tampa and our people asked Jim then if he would be the candidate. We think it would be wonderful if Jim Gilchrist would seriously consider being our presidential candidate.”
Gilchrist told WND the only candidate he would support as the Republican Party presidential nominee in 2008 was Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo.
“If John McCain enters the race for president,” Gilchrist said. “I will definitely run. John McCain should have forfeited his right to run for president on the Republican Party the moment he put his name on immigration legislation with Sen. Ted Kennedy.”
Gilchrist and the Constitution Party both agree on the need to secure the southern border with Mexico. Commenting on the street demonstrations planned for tomorrow, Gilchrist said they are nothing more than “a declaration that we are no longer a nation governed by the rule of law, but that we are being ruled by mob rule.”
Asked whether he felt President Bush’s “guest worker” program or the administration’s “pathway to citizenship” were reasonable compromises, Gilchrist reacted sharply: “The Republican Party is going to pay a huge price for pandering to what they think is going to be an illegal-alien vote and for their reckless disregard for the rule of law. The Republican Party has sold out our sovereignty.”
Gilchrist told WND that he thought his third-party candidacy could be viable, noting “the country is ready for a third-party candidate, just like the country was ready for Ross Perot in 1992.”
Gilchrist was harshly critical of Bush’s leadership on the immigration issue.
“The president should resign,” Gilchrist asserted. “The Congress should begin impeachment proceedings if President Bush will not resign. President Bush has shown he is incompetent to handle his job. It amounts to dereliction of duty that President Bush has left our border with Mexico wide open while supposedly he is fighting a war on terror.”
Asked if he thought the recent arrests by the Department of Homeland Security cracking down on companies who hire illegal aliens was effective, Gilchrist dismissed the administration’s efforts.
“It’s nothing more than a show,” Gilchrist argued. “DHS just served up another ‘photo op.'”
“The political fix is on,” Gilchrist warned. “The president thinks he has a compromise that the Republican leadership and the Democratic leadership can ram through Congress, but it’s going to end up being jammed down the throats of the 300 million people the president is supposed to be preserving, protecting and defending.”
Gilchrist dismissed President Bush’s attempt to get “comprehensive immigration reform” passed by Congress before the August recess. “Any law the Bush administration supports,” Gilchrist predicted, “will be just like all the other immigration laws – a sellout. The administration plans to forget about the enforcement parts as soon as President Bush can shake hands with Ted Kennedy, right after he signs the law into effect. It’s all a wink-wink game the Republicans have started playing with the Democrats. Both parties are really just the same. Neither party wants to secure our border with Mexico.”
How about “guest workers”?
“The ‘guest worker’ program, or whatever the PR guys at the White House decide to call it,” Gilchrist answered, “will be nothing more than an amnesty. We’re going to wave the magic wand and 30 million illegal aliens will somehow become citizens, despite the fact that they march under the Mexican flag and make up their own national anthem in Spanish. Pretty soon there will be 50 million illegal aliens here. Who knows? As far as George Bush and Sen. Ted Kennedy are concerned, the more the merrier.”
The Constitution Party supported Gilchrist in 2005, when he ran as an independent for Congress after Rep. Chris Cox, R-Calif., resigned to become chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Committee. Gilchrist received 25.5 percent of the vote in the general election, losing to Republican John Campbell. At that time, Clymer put out a strong statement supporting Gilchrist’s candidacy. According to Dec. 15 party press release:
Jim Clymer, chairman of the Constitution Party, believes that a major change is in order. Both the House and the Senate have been thoroughly corrupted by influence-peddling for decades, Clymer said. But the solution is not to run the Democrats to power or to elect a more ethical Republican majority. The solution, according to Clymer, is to jettison the two major parties altogether and to start afresh with principle-based leadership.
In 1992, Howard Phillips left the Republican Party to found the U.S. Taxpayers Party and ran as the party’s presidential candidate. In 1995, the party became the fifth political party to be recognized by the Federal Election Commission as a national political party. In 1999, the party changed its name to the Constitution Party.
During the Nixon administration, Phillips headed two federal agencies, serving last as the director of the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity.
A third-party candidate could represent a viable challenge to the Democrats in 2008.
A recent Rasmussen poll indicated disillusionment over President Bush’s immigration policy could lead to a tie, with 31 percent of voters going for the Democratic Party presidential candidate, 31 percent going for a third-party independent arguing to build a wall on the border, and 21 percent for the Republican candidate.
Gilchrist, a Marine veteran with 13 months combat experience in Vietnam, presents himself in an unassuming fashion.
“I’m just an average Joe citizen,” Gilchrist told WND. “What we’ve proved is that an average Joe citizen can come out of nowhere and not only create the Minuteman Project, but can also run for president. I want to bring common sense and rule of law back into our national dialogue.”
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