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Knee-jerk reactions to the debate between Tom Tancredo and "Ask a Mexican" Gustavo Arellano

Knee-jerk reactions to the debate between Tom Tancredo and "Ask a Mexican" Gustavo Arellano

Christie, 32, a registered nurse from Denver:
"I came into this supporting Gustavo, but [Tancredo] didn't come across as much of a fucker compared to what the media portrayed him as."

Knee-jerk reactions to the debate between Tom Tancredo and "Ask a Mexican" Gustavo Arellano

Pauline Olvera, 44, a former small business owner and former Republican candidate for Colorado House District 7, from Denver:
"It really put my theory to work: that for some reason, people hate capitalism, but they come to a capitalist country for the opportunities we offer and it just seemed hypocritical to me," Olvera says. "Obviously [Su Teatro] is a very pro-illegal immigration venue. It's almost a badge of honor. The word 'illegal' means illegal. We're a country of laws."

Knee-jerk reactions to the debate between Tom Tancredo and "Ask a Mexican" Gustavo Arellano

Hanna Johnson, 22, CU Boulder student from Woodside, California:
"I think Tancredo's an all-around jackass," she says. "Because of his positions on immigration, women's rights...

"He said it real pretty tonight. Kudos to him, he's a good speaker. But this is about white people, scared they are less of the majority than they used to be. Some white people, not all white people."

Knee-jerk reactions to the debate between Tom Tancredo and "Ask a Mexican" Gustavo Arellano

Nancy, 46, database administrator from Denver:
"The fact that [Arellano] was bragging about the fact he was an 'anchor baby' really disturbed me," she says. "You could tell the audience was more in favor of [Gustavo.] It was rude. Tom Tancredo is a humanitarian. He's not the type of person who is going to brag about his accomplishments, but when he said it's not about race, he means it. He sponsored the Sudan [Peace Act of 2002.]"

Knee-jerk reactions to the debate between Tom Tancredo and "Ask a Mexican" Gustavo Arellano

Kyle, 21, student at CU Boulder, from Golden
"One of the biggest things I got out of it -- Tancredo really hammered home the economic factors of immigration. The [claim that Tancredo said immigrants refuse to] culturally assimilate, he fell short there."

The debate between Tancredo, a former congressman and candidate for governor in Colorado, and Arellano, the writer behind the "Ask a Mexican" column and managing editor of OC Weekly (Westword's sister paper in Orange County), drew more than 300 people to the theater, while 1,370 watched a live stream of it online.

You can watch the entire debate below (fast-forward to minute 37 to skip the introductions)

Here are a few highlights from the debate:










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