Tancredo, King Congressional Lookalikes U.S. Reps. Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Steve King of Iowa bear a striking enough resemblance to each other that they have confused reporters, other members of Congress and even their own wives.

Tancredo, King Congressional Lookalikes

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And, you know, because we always bring you more on the BPP, we thought we'd take you into a secret side of Tom Tancredo - a secret twin even. When I was covering Congress, I could never figure out if I was talking to this guy, Tom Tancredo, a congressman from Colorado; or this other guy, Steve King, a Republican congressman from Iowa.



BURBANK: Speaking of which. And I thought it was just me, and I asked another reporter, a guy from, I think, The Hill, which is a very well-respected Capitol Hill newspaper and he said, oh yeah, I have no idea either.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BURBANK: And I started asking people, and it turns out no one knew these two guys apart. And I thought there's a story here.

STEWART: You're going to get to the bottom of it.

BURBANK: So I track down these two guys - Tom Tancredo and this other guy, Steve King - and here's what they told me.

Steve King will be the first to tell you life can be rough for a second-term congressman. you're still try to figure out how the place really works, how to get your issues heard, but every once in a while, it all pays off. You run into a former colleague who greets you warmly and tells you what a great job you've been doing.

Representative STEVE KING (Republican, Iowa): And I thought it was a, you know, it was a constructive conversation, and it was give and take, and it seemed to make sense all the way through.

BURBANK: But then, Steve King says…

Rep. KING: When we got done, he says, okay. Well, thanks a lot, Tom.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Rep. KING: And, you know, at that point, you don't call him back and say let's do this all over. You just say, you're welcome or see you later.

BURBANK: That's life as a second-term congressman when you look exactly like, well, another congressman.

Representative TOM TANCREDO (Republican, Colorado): I'm Tom Tancredo. I'm a congressman from the sixth congressional district of Colorado.

I always wondered if he's ever given an interview as Tom Tancredo because I know I've given plenty as Steve King.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Rep. TANCREDO: And, oh, man, the things he said. It's just incredible.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BURBANK: He's joking - sort of. Both men actually admit they've done lots of interviews where they can tell the reporters aren't sure which one of them they're really talking to. But Tancredo and King say they usually just plow ahead. This could be a lot bigger problem if the two men were not in almost total agreement on all issues says Tom Tancredo.

Rep. TANCREDO: Certainly, immigration is, like, one of his big topics. It's certainly mine, and we are absolutely copasetic on everything. It's a - it is odd, I admit to you, it's odd.

BURBANK: Standing next to each other, King and Tancredo may not look all that similar, but if you run into one without the other, well, good luck telling them apart. They both stand a little under six feet. They have the same bulb-like nose and the beginning of a comb-over. Their wives have mixed them up before, at least across crowded room, that is. They even switched nametags once at the White House Christmas party and nobody noticed.

John Allen(ph) of The Hill newspaper says he has it figured it out though.

Mr. JOHN ALLEN (Reporter, The Hill): The key to telling them apart, I think, is that Steve King has a sort of very blue eyes and Tom Tancredo does not. So if you can get a good look at their faces, Mr. King's eyes jump out.

BURBANK: Over the past few years, King and Tancredo have become close. They've been hunting together. They campaign for each other. When Tom Tancredo's mother was dying, it was Steve King who flew to Colorado at the last minute to give a speech in his place. They get along so well that some reporters like to joke that they may have been separated at birth. Of course, there's only one real way to find out if two people are actually twins, and I put Steve King to that test.

Can you feel each other's pain?

Rep. KING: There's a sense of brotherhood there.

BURBANK: So if I punch you right now on the shoulder, do you think Tancredo will feel it?

(Soundbite of laughter)

BURBANK: Let's just do an experiment. I'll punch you lightly. If he felt something in his shoulder at 8:45 at night…

Rep. KING: If he felt that, that's going to be an eerie thing.

BURBANK: As of this story's airing, NPR was unable to confirm if Tancredo, in fact, felt the pain of that punch.

Boy, I sounded like a real reporter, remember(ph) that?

STEWART: Did the secret service descend upon you as you got into a fist to cuff with the…

BURBANK: Let me just - let me take you into the world of Congress. Secret service ain't paying attention to Tom Tancredo or Steve King…

(Soundbite of laughter)

BURBANK: …and, yeah, I never was able to figure out if Tom Tancredo felt that punch. Maybe that's why he has a certain amount of displaced anger leading him to launch…

STEWART: Possibly.

BURBANK: …political ads in Iowa like the one we just heard. Well, that is an extended version of The Ramble. Thank you for enjoying that along with us.

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