Tancredo endorses Romney; Update: "You bet your life" Huckabee was a factor

That’s the word from the Des Moines Register. It’ll be negligible in Iowa, probably, but a huge jolt of credibility nationally for Mitt among the base, needless to say. Tanc will be on Cavuto at 4 to talk about it. Stand by for updates.

Update: I thought he was polling 1 or 2 percent in Iowa. I see from the DMR story that it’s 6 percent. Maybe not so negligible.

What do you suppose Mitt offered in return? Director of Homeland Security Tom Tancredo? The boss will swoon.

Update: What a killer for Fred. He was obviously in the running for Tanc’s endorsement and could have used the “true conservative” buzz it would have given him even more than that six percent. It’s especially curious, as MM says, because his pal Steve King opted for Thompson. I wonder if Tanc, who’s quitting the House next year, didn’t look at the two of them and simply go with the guy with the better chance to win. Mitt’s better funded, he’s run a better campaign, ergo he’s the guy most likely to win and give Tanc a position of authority in the next administration.

Update: RW Wacko poses an alternate theory that echoes my reasoning here. Maybe Tanc is as worried as we are about Huck’s rise and went with the guy best positioned to knock him off.

Update: Here’s Tancredo’s statement. RW Wacko vindicated? Note well:

The presidential campaign has come down to less than a handful of viable candidates. Unfortunately several of them have abysmal records on immigration and can’t be trusted to do what is needed to preserve this country if they’re elected. My fear is that if I were to stay in this race my votes could be the factor in handing victory to a pro-amnesty politician. Friends, we have done too much, come too far and the stakes are too high to play that hand. And so I am ending my presidential campaign.

Update: Why Romney?

“There’s a candidate who meets several criteria from my point of view….He will secure our borders….he’ll require those who are presently here illegally to return home. He also has, by the way, a solid record that matches his rhetoric….He can go the distance. This morning I met with Governor Mitt Romney….I am withdrawing from this race and I am endorsing Governor Romney.”…

Tancredo met with Romney for “over an hour” this morning, in order to “clarify” issues.

Update: Too bad MM didn’t include Tanc as an option in her Internet poll this morning. I’m curious to see how he’d have polled vis-a-vis Fred. Certainly he’d have done no worse than second; compare that to his sixth or seventh place standing in Iowa. Proof, if any was needed, that conservative bloggers and blog readers don’t represent the base as neatly as some might think.

Update: Confirmed — blame the Huckaboom.

He also made plain that he was moved to get out of the contest because he feared the rise of Mike Huckabee, who has taken a less hard-line approach to immigration in the past.

“It was important in making this decision — you bet your life it was,” Tancredo said, speaking to a group of reporters and supporters at a press conference.

Update: The video of Tancredo on Cavuto is here.