Former Presidential hopeful Rep. Tom Tancredo today criticized the Pope’s comments regarding U.S. immigration policy.

Pope Benedict XVI of course said the United States must do “everything possible to fight … all forms of violence so that immigrants may lead dignified lives.”

Well this sets off Tancredo on what is one of the most ridiculous and misconstrued political attacks I’ve ever seen. To think this guy wanted to be President is a little scary.

I guess by issuing this release he wanted to make sure that he could never ever and I mean never again run for nationwide political office.

“I would like to know what part of our lax immigration policy is considered violent,” Tancredo said. “I fail to see how accepting more refugees than any other nation –and providing free health care, education, housing and social service benefits to millions of illegal aliens is in any way ‘violent’ or ‘degrading.’”

Pope Benedict XVI has made amnesty a key issue in his papacy. He met with President Bush, reportedly adding his voice to the open-border lobby by encouraging Bush to provide blanket amnesty to all illegal immigrants in the United States.

At the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Pope said, “I want to encourage you and your communities to continue to welcome the immigrants who join your ranks today, to share their joys and hopes, to support them in their sorrows and trials and to help them flourish in their new home.”

“I am not taking issue with the Pope’s moral authority and respect his views on the threat of radical Islam,” Tancredo said. “However, it is not in his job description to engage in American politics.”

Tancredo also cited a recent report indicating that the “Catholic Church…has been losing members rapidly — as much as a third of the native-born Catholic population. Meanwhile, it has gained members among foreign-born (mostly Hispanic) residents.”

“I suspect the Pope’s immigration comments may have less to do with spreading the gospel than they do about recruiting new members of the church,” said Tancredo. “This isn’t preaching it is ‘faith-based’ marketing.”

So much of what he says is completely wrong. The Pope isn’t talking politics. He’s imploring us to be sensitive and caring to all, including illegal immigrants -which to me is something we would do well to remember.

But when Tancredo impugns the Pope’s motives then we swerve into crazyland. Here’s the thing -Tancredo thought he could ride the national consensus to secure the border into a referendum for his candidacy. And when it didn’t happen his rhetoric became increasingly offensive and anti-immigrant thus leading to his being ostracized from the mainstream.

This is hopefully the last scream to be heard from a candidacy lost in the woods.