November 13th, 2007
12:05 PM ET
11 years ago

Campaign defends ad depicting terrorist attack

Tancredo's new ad depicts a terrorist attack on an American mall.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo's new television ad depicting a terrorist attack on an American mall is raising eyebrows Tuesday, but the Colorado Republican's campaign says it doesn't cross the line.

"There's nothing over the top about this," Bay Buchanan, Tancredo's campaign manager told CNN. "It's quite accurate."

The 30-second ad, set to begin running on Iowa cable stations this week, depicts a hooded man walking into a crowded mall with a backpack. Over the sound of a ticking clock, the man abandons the backpack at a bench and an explosion is heard.

"There are consequences to open borders beyond the 20 million aliens who have come to take our jobs," the ad's narrator says. "Islamic terrorists now freely roam U.S. soil. Jihadists, who froth with hate, here to do what they have in London, Spain, and Russia."

Buchanan brushed aside critics who say the ad is playing the "fear card" and cited a recent FBI memo that said officials had received a tip Al Qaeda terrorists may be planning attacks on shopping malls in Los Angeles and Chicago during the upcoming holiday season. The FBI also said there is no indication the tip is credible.

"That's a common response of individuals who don't like your message," she said of those who have said the ad is designed to instill fear. "But the key is this: Is there a concern that this could happen to us at anytime? It has to be the case, the FBI just confirmed it."

"Washington doesn't have the guts, or the courage, or the will to do their job which is to secure their nation and that is why we face this threat," she continued. "Unless we speak about it, we can't expect the American people to put the proper pressure on Washington to do what they were elected to do."

Tancredo, who has placed the issue of illegal immigration front-and-center in his long-shot presidential bid, previously caused a stir in August when he said bombing holy Muslim sites would serve as a good "deterrent" to prevent Islamic fundamentalists from attacking the United States.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Iowa • Tom Tancredo
soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. Josh, Lafayette, IN

    People who care about poltics will compare this to the daisy ad and call it out for BS.

    Ignorant rednecks who vote will be happy to find out they have someone who will represent their hate of brown people.

    November 13, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. Greg Diamond Jr. Liverpool, NY

    Another Republican capitalizing on fear for political gain. I'm sure there is a reader out there rolling his eyes, but consider the following logic. Hey, Tom - try avoiding the acceptance of support and caving to the lobbying clout of American and foreign corporations that enter the Middle East with the intent to pursue oil and other natural resoirces, arms deals and insider defense contracting at the cost of reducing local populations to life in poverty by taking away the objects of their livelihoods. These people attack us because they perceive us to be a threat to indigenous political and economic autonomy. This is not the Middle Ages, your stockholders are not white knights bringing local prosperity and no Jesus is coming - get real with your 'ye olde worlde' policies and join the rest of the pragmatic public.

    November 13, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. John Cropp, Athens, Ga

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

    How have we forgotten?

    November 13, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. Matt Shreveport, LA

    Seriously, how nutty can you get? It's a possibility but it's not IMMINENT.

    November 13, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. Raymond, El Paso TX

    What's everybody so worried about? We're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here ...REMEMBER?

    November 13, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. Antonio, Tempe AZ

    More US citizens died of septicemia in 2004 than have been killed by terrorists since we won our freedom from the British.

    Why are politicians obsessed with terrorism to the point that we are ignoring the causes of actual death in our country?

    November 13, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. David Otteson California

    It is the same fear tactic that the G.O.P.has used so many times.Find an enemy, scare your base. Immagrants steal your job while killing your children.It's time for superman. It's such Bull!

    November 13, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. Bill Hinman, Gardiner, Ore.

    What kind of a scumbag would run an ad like that? Why do the republican candidates play the fear factor all the time. It's bad enough that Bush has used that tactic for the last six years. America deserves more from our political leaders.

    November 13, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Joe, Reno, NV

    You have got to be kidding me... get people to do something by scaring them? sounds like this candidate trained in afganistan along with osama bin laden.

    November 13, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Mary, Beaver, PA

    The US is worried about terrorists entering the country? That must be news to the idiots who want to give amnesty to the illegals who are already here.

    November 13, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. Patrick,Cincinnati,OH

    I support Tancredos efforts in support of jobs for Americans but I don't think he needs to play the fear card. We all realize that where terrorism is concerned anything is possible. The terrorism could even be homegrown.

    I wish he would spend more time on the jobs issue solely... fighting against H1-B and foreign worker visas.

    November 13, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. Joel, SI, NY

    Can someone remind Tancredo that there is a border to the North of us through which potential terrorists can come as well. All he talks about is a border between the US and Mexico.

    November 13, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. DLPoff, Roanoke VA

    Well, Mr. Tancredo's idea of bombing Islamic holy sites sounds just peachy to me. By all means, let's lower ourselves even more to the terrorists' level. Let's show the world what a hateful, spiteful people we can be. Let's prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything our critics have said about us are true.

    Terrorism is real. There is no denying that, but spouting bigoted trash like bombing another faith's holy sites as a deterrent for attacking us is more than stupid. It is frightening and dangerous.

    November 13, 2007 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. SF, Littleton CO

    It doesn't matter if one is a Republican or Democrat, Mr. Tancredo is a one-issue politician, who will happily use fear to furhter his cause. As one of his unfortunate constituents, I can say from first-hand knowledge that he doesnt even know much about the problems of his ownconstituency, never mind the country. All he ever does is raise the illegal immigrant issue.
    Ms Crockett – I bet you believe DeLay got railroaded and Rove was just mis-understood !!!

    November 13, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. P. Jones, Thurmont, MD

    Sounds like Barry Goldwater, circa 1964. Good to know that scare tactics continue to be in high demand by Republicans.

    November 13, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. Erik, Des Moines, IA

    This ad is fear-mongering of the worst kind. Although illegal immigration is a problem (one which Mr. Tancredo has hyped far beyond its true significance), there are many other issues of greater importance to the future of this country which he has done little, if nothing, to address in his rhetoric. I have yet to hear him say anything of substance about education, health care or improving our economy. Mr. Tancredo is what he is – a one issue candidate lacking in depth and substance.

    November 13, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. Don, Denver CO

    Maybe the reason why this ad is so disturbing to some is because it can very well become reality. Just this past week the FBI issued a warning regarding shopping malls. Think about it, how many of you on 9/11 were in complte shock and disbelief? Thinking it was a movie because NOTHING like that has ever happened in the US. What makes this scenerio any more different? Do you all honestly think it is only "good-hardworking people" coming through our porous borders? If so, then you really naive. Our borders should be protected and our immigration laws should be enforced. Supporting Corporate Americas agenda for cheap uninsured labor has the potential to be a deadly cost for American citizens.

    November 13, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Steve, Bloomington IN

    Well, this is certainly no more "over the top" than the idea that Tancredo is electable.

    November 13, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. Brandon, NYC, NY

    I find this type of ad completely insensitive and wholly inappropriate. It's this brand of sensatonalism that continues to tarnish our global reputation. The comments about illegal immigrants,to me, are borderline racist. It's unfortunate that we, the United States, are so physically isolated from the rest of the world. If we had the habit of interacting with neighboring countries (such as Western European nations do) more often, I think we'd have a broader foreign policy and a much more realistic and tolerant way to address our immigration issues. Fear mongering is not the way to formulate or win support for effective plans.

    November 13, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. Wanted: New America

    Funny, he mentions ISLAMIC Terrorists....Not Redneck terrorists, not white terrorists, not black, just ISLAMIC. So ridiculous... I think The OK City bombers were protestant. We're headed for an implosion of our own if we elect more people like Bush and his crooked cronies.

    We're not at war with Islam people, we're at war with people who clearly don't want us in their country, who HAPPEN to be ISLAMIC. We WONDER why people hate the US – Arrogant as we are.

    Think about this....if we had a civil war going on, do you REALLY, TRULY in your HEART OF HEARTS think ANY country would come in and help us at all. No.

    Time to go focus on AMERICA for a while. Let them blow themselves up over there. We're done being Earth's (crooked) policeman.

    That said, pray for the safety of the troops who have been sent over there. Its not their fault.

    November 13, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. Ron, Elk, PA

    I'm glad he used the fear tactic, now we know he is using fear to get votes. Do we want a candidate that will stoop to cheap tricks to get what he wants?

    November 13, 2007 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    Thomas, I'm actually more of a moderate than a liberal, but I'll take a shot at it. Your rhetorical question was how come liberals defend liberals who condemn America as the root of all evil throughout the world, but don't defend Republicans who condemn America as the root of all evil throughout the world? Like when Baying Buchanan said "Washington doesn't have the guts, or the courage, or the will to do their job?" Aw, she can have all the free hate speech she wants. See, even the Buchanan Dynasty knows Bush is a cowardly nutjob.

    November 13, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Its to sad that someone as closed minded as Tancredo ever reached a high position in his life. People like that all around the world are the ones that are causing trouble. If we didnt have such hateful people, life would be much better. People such as Tancredo believe that they should only exist, he's comparable with Osama Bin Laden. I guess its better to ignore people like that.

    November 13, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. Flagship, Hartford, CT

    I agree "Shame on all of you that hide so proudly behind the American flag and behind a curtain of fear. You are commiting a very grievous sin. You sin against your country and yourself."

    November 13, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  25. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    Sorry, I am a Republican and I truly think Tancredo's ad is way over the top. We shouldn't feel forced to vote for someone out of fear that we may get attacked. I do feel however that the Republican president in the White House would keep us safer then the Democratic president.

    November 13, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
1 2 3 4 5