August 4th, 2007
02:08 PM ET
4 years ago

Tancredo: Threaten to bomb Muslim holy sites in retaliation

Republican presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo's campaign stood by his assertion that bombing holy Muslim sites would serve as a good "deterrent" to prevent Islamic fundamentalists from attacking the United States, his spokeswoman said Friday.

"This shows that we mean business," said Bay Buchanan, a senior Tancredo adviser. "There's no more effective deterrent than that. But he is open-minded and willing to embrace other options. This is just a means to deter them from attacking us."

On Tuesday, Tancredo warned a group of Iowans that another terrorist attack would "cause a worldwide economic collapse." IowaPolitics.com recorded his comments.

"If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina," Tancredo said. "That is the only thing I can think of that might deter somebody from doing what they would otherwise do. If I am wrong, fine, tell me, and I would be happy to do something else. But you had better find a deterrent, or you will find an attack."

Tom Casey, a deputy spokesman for the State Department, told CNN's Elise Labott that the congressman’s comments were "reprehensible" and "absolutely crazy." Tancredo was widely criticized in 2005 for making a similar suggestion.

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich


Filed under: Tom Tancredo
soundoff (1,648 Responses)
  1. Jeff, Bridgeport WV

    Obviously Tancredo hasn't learned anything from the ongoing civil war in Iraq. What happened a few months ago... a mosque was bombed by some insurgents. What was the response... folks who had been relatively peaceful retaliated and bombed those that bombed their mosque. If we were to attack the Muslim Holy Sites we would not deter further attacks on the homeland, we would actually insite them to attack us.

    Mr. Tancredo please learn from history or you are doomed to repeat it.

    August 3, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. Bobby Charlton,

    Though this is reprehensible and borderline immoral, please remember that one nail drives another. Look where being in bed with Pakistan has taken this country.

    August 3, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. Henry Greenville Virginia

    Right on! If they know Mecca will be wiped of the earth and still attack they have only themselves to blame. George Bush is the only reprehensible and crazy one in the issue.

    August 3, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Mike, Worland, Wyoming

    It is what these jihadists do in the name of Allah that is reprehensible. When are we going to wake up and realize that you cannot fight a "Holy War" on a political basis? Israel also should take Tancredo's advice and launch a rocket into the Dome of the Rock for every rocket that lands on their soil. This is the language that these hate and fear mongers understand.

    August 3, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Rob C, Pittsburgh, PA

    Hey Dave Dolan from Pittsburgh. The quote states any attack of American property would result in us blowing Mecca and Medina to Nevereverland. He also said in the same speech "attacking Muslim holy sites first would be the only means to prevent terrorists from attacking America."

    Get off of Bush's tip and read-up on international treaties and laws. You can not bomb religious sites for any reason. Heck, if we are going to go about blowing up radical fundamentalist holy sites, why stop with the Muslim sites? Let's hit Buddha's temple and the Vatican, too. Then we can move on to some lesser known religions when we get bored.

    Anyone who thinks this guy would make a good president, probably voted for Bush. The two combined actions make you a blithering idiot.

    August 3, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. CM, Boulder CO

    I've never been embarrassed to be from Colorado before, but the way this guy represents the state makes me wonder...

    August 3, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. Pedro

    These comments are not surprising coming from a racist bigot like Tancredo. Everyone knows, but may not want to accept, that the reason we were attacked on 9/11 is because of our presence in and foreign policy with regard to the middle east. "Bombing" holy sites in a country that is an ally of the U.S. would probably cause more attacks in the future.

    August 3, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. David Orlando, FL

    Is this guy out of his mind? Has he been hanging out with Bush too much? This is exactly what this country needs. Another saber-rattling, chest-pounding numbskull Republican that thinks bombing people off the face of this earth is a magic cure-all for all that ails us in international relations. These people are too ignorant to realize that this is more often than not counterproductive.

    August 3, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. bobby g, DC

    Does Tancredo have a plan to get us off oil dependency this very second? Because if he doesn't, and he bombs Mecca and Medina, the Saudi's will. It is called "we don't want your business."

    August 3, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. John, Chicago IL

    Mr. Tancredo,

    Sir, you're kidding, right? You don't belong in the presidential race. Please, go home and think some more about your ideas.

    August 3, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. Martin Jeffries, Cupertino, CA

    It really seems ashamed that Mutually Assured Destruction would prevent an attack, but perhaps he is on to something here. I cannot claim to be an expert on all the world's ills and motivations but perhaps a big threat may go a long way.

    August 3, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    I've got to admit that my first thought when this war started was exactly that...bomb their mosques!! I don't care if they think it's sacred ground, our twin towers was sacred ground too!! I don't condone bombing their believers but if thir in the mosques at the time of bombing then not to worry, they'll be in paradise soon enough.

    August 3, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. Former Airman, San Antonio, TX

    This is obsurd! First and foremost military personnel adhere to The Laws of Armed Conflict (LOAC) in combat sitauations. Under the LOAC religious buildings are granted immunity from attack UNLESS they are being used in a military capacity! To bomb a religious building just to send a message is ridiculous and Congressmean Tancredo should be ashamed of making the implied negative correlation between the Muslim religion and terrorist behavior.

    August 3, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. DJ, Los Angeles CA

    Tom – you are a maniac and a danger to humanity.

    So we should declare official holy war against 1.4 billion Muslims, the 2nd largest religion in the world.

    Oh and declare war on ally that supplies us with permanent military facilities and billions of gallons of oil?

    You're a nutcase!

    August 3, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Neil, Athens, GA

    Can someone in Colorado please explain to me why you would elect Tom Tancredo to represent you in Congress?

    Honestly, of all the ideas you could come up with deter terrorism, this is by far the worst I have ever heard.

    August 3, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. Dylan Kay

    Tancredo is simply mad. However, more importantly this where the Republican party is. The country's choices in 2008 are clear.

    August 3, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. G.H.

    So easy to criticize. What deterrent do you have against those whom solely care about their faith and not life? The congressman asked for other options as a deterrent and I have seen nothing posted here about alternative options, just knee jerk reactions about how stupid he is. Do any of his critics have 2 or 3 other ideas to use as a deterrent? Or has CNN's blogs just diminished into gradechool name calling

    August 3, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. Demir California

    This has to be the most outrageous thing I have ever heard. I'm appalled that a man who was elected into office has no respect for other people's religions.

    I, myself as a Muslim do not believe in the Jihad and the slaughtering of innocent lives. I have no respect for Tom Tancredo and his outright racism towards Muslims. Why not just bomb a mosque in his home state and ask them to leave?

    August 3, 2007 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. Nandler, Boston, MA

    This idea could be the worst idea but I agree with the concept. If we do not come to terms how to deal with islamic fundametalists (lets not be naive we cannot be rational with them) and have a strong deterrant there will be nobody to stop them. I do agree with the concept of having a strong deterrant that matters most to islamic terrorists – though not quite this plan.

    August 3, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. Concerned Voter, South Bend, IN

    Anyone suggesting this is a good idea clearly does not understand the region or the implications. Tancredo is out of his head to suggest this. The mere implication that we should do this will probably lead to more American lives being lost.

    Let's see, they hate us for allegedly interferring in everything and defending Israel. They attack us so we blow up the most holy sites to their religion, which isn't like many Americans view religion, but is actually a way of life. See, we don't understand that because even though we may be Christian, many of us do not live our religion to the level they live in the middle east.

    How would you feel if they blew up the Vatican? Your local church?

    This type of speech is absolutely dangerous. Of all the comments, this is my favorite though:

    BRAVO! FINALLY, SOMEONE WITH GUTS!

    Posted By Anonymous : August 3, 2007 12:52 pm

    This poster says finally someone with some guts yet posts as Anonymous and doesn't have the courage to reveal who they are themselves to back Tancredo. Brilliant.

    August 3, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. Jon, Delray Beach, FL.

    Here we go with another "thoughtful" response to terrorism. HELLO!? EARTH TO TANCREDO!? If you bomb Mecca, that WILL NOT deter terrorists, you'll cause millions more muslims to join the fight against the US. This has to be one of the most absurd things I've ever heard. It'll make 9/11 look like a birthday party. How closed minded, thoughtless and ignorant can you be to make a comment like that? It totally shows that Tancredo has no clue whatsoever. USE YOUR BRAIN.

    August 3, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  22. Andrew McCull, Raleigh, NC

    This guy is Hitler!!!!! If we do that we better be prepeared to fight to dead 3 billion muslims world wide, and the reprobation of all civilized nations

    That this guy is a candidate to the president show us in what sorry shape is the Republican party

    August 3, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  23. Scott Harris, San Diego, California

    I agree and we should also atteack their women and children as they are part of the problem too, the children will turn to terrorists and if you think the women are not as crazy and dangerous as their terrorist husbands and sons, then this country is in more trouble than i thought.

    August 3, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. Paul, atlanta, georgia

    Tancredo is absolutely right. We need to fight them in terms they understand. When we do't attack civilians, they hide among civilians. When we don't attack schools and hospitals, they store there ammunution in schools and hospitals. You cannot fight a war and allow the enemy to fight without consequence. If they understand that an attack on the american homeland will eqaul the destruction of mecca, they will not dare attack. And we don't even have to bomb it to pieces. All we have to do is spray it with pigs blood and it will have eqaul effect.

    August 3, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. Mark, Bushkill, PA

    Better solution.... STOP BUYING OIL FROM OVERSEAS!!! Without our money, they can't fund terrorist activities easily. Makes you wonder, everytime I fill my car with gas, I feel like I am supporting terrorism. Lets go with Hydrogen. No wait that's right, big oil companies run this nation.

    August 3, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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