August 4th, 2007
02:08 PM ET
10 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." 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. Ryan, New York, NY

    Um, aren't Mecca and Medina cities within a country that's our ally. Whether or not the Saudis always act like an ally is one thing, but

    August 3, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Steve, New York, New York

    As a Christian, Mr. Tancredo's comments are absurd and disgraceful. Moreover, I feel as if the 2008 election has boiled down to which candidate is more willing to "nuke" a Muslim country. How have our election politics come to stoop so low?

    August 3, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. Ryan, New York, NY

    but to go from naming them as an ally to a bombing target is pretty crazy. I wasn't completely on board with Obama's "I'll bomb Pakistan if need be" comments, but at least in that case, we'd be going after a legitimate target, rather than causing destruction just for the sake of retaliation against a religion.

    I guess bombing Mecca & Medina would be one way for us to turn all the Muslims in the world against us and turn this into a full fledged Crusade, though.

    Oh well, fortunately this nutjob won't be elected.

    August 3, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Okay, so maybe there are some cases when people are second-tier candidates for a reason. Seems the good congressman has been watching Swordfish again...

    August 3, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. John, Worthington, OH

    how is this guy representing people in his district?

    August 3, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    It's official. He's insane.

    August 3, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. Tancredo is a HUGE moron, Austin, TX

    How was this man ever elected to Congress?

    Only in the GOP...

    August 3, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. A.J. Seattle, WA

    Wow. It's scary that this guy is actually a U.S. Representative. It's amazing that he would make such an irresponsible suggestion.

    August 3, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. Scott Schrader, Mounds View, MN

    what an IDIOT. Tancredo just proved he's not qualified to be a policymaker at any level. he just got a new generation of Muslims teed off at the US and the west with what can only be considered a call for another crusade.

    August 3, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. Anonymous


    August 3, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. Mo, Arlington Virginia

    That is absolutely crazy. Thank god it's 'not' up to him.

    August 3, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. Jim, Atlanta


    We have finally found someone who would be a worse President than Bush.

    Yeah you moron, lets bomb their holy sites and we can look forward to daily bombings of our schools, churches, hospitals and malls.

    What an idiot.

    August 3, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Dave Dolan, Pittsburgh, PA

    I don't think that he should say such things, because certainly that angers folks, but he did not suggest bombing them FIRST. He said we should say first that we WOULD FOLLOW any nuclear attack on the US with a nuclear attack on those cities and that the idea of dooming their own cities by attacking us would be a deterrent. I think his logic is faulty, but your alarmism and misconstruation of the statements he actually made is shameful, and not representative of his true intent. What he did was essentially "threaten the life of their mother's" if they were to attack us, he didn't say they would first "kill their mothers" so they wouldn't. Big difference.

    August 3, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. Rob C, Pittsburgh, PA

    Please erase the name, Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, from your ballot. We regret to inform you, he committed political suicide today.

    What was this nonsense he was spouting about disregarding the international laws of war?

    August 3, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Nick, Cary NC

    Mecca is in Saudi Arabia who is allegedly an ally.

    They are bombing thier own mosques in Iraq, and DUHHHHHH, what is the result?

    August 3, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Perry, Los Angeles, CA

    Thank you Tancredo for the worst idea to determent every suggested. Not only would you make things worse with that policy, you would set the stage for the collapse you are fearful of.

    You might have just sealed your presidential bid doom with that statement.

    August 3, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. Wayne Rooney- Manchester, Eng.

    what a bigot.

    August 3, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. Independent Voter, TN

    How do we elect someone with an idea like this? He is wrong on immigration (he was a one trick pony up 'til now)and he is wrong on this. I hope his ill-advised presidential bid comes to a quick halt and the people in his state figure out they can do better.

    August 3, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. W. Ford, Tucson, AZ

    Don't vote for Trancredo. This guy is dangerous

    August 3, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. Kyle Massey Blue Springs Mo

    Honestly I can not think of another deterrant that would hold such power over the Islamo-Fascist terrorists. Im like him, If theres a better way Im all ears but until then hit them where it hurts the most. It took an atom bomb to bring the Japanese into submission during WWII. They were fighting for their "religion" and were fanatics as well. What is going to be todays "atom bomb" for the Islamic terrorists?

    August 3, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. Katie, Detroit, MI

    Are you KIDDING me?!? I hope no one is taking this candidate seriously. Why can't we look into the reasons why people would even consider an attack and what we can do as a society to prevent it from happening, rather than making bullying, negative threats?

    August 3, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. John - St. Louis, MO

    Isn't Tancredo the guy who foams at the mouth over illegal immigrants too?

    Bombing Mecca though, which any sane person would understand would ignite a worldwide holy war much worse than any single terrorist attack, and lead to the deaths of many, many more Americans, is absolutely the most insane thing I have heard any politician say in a long, long time.

    Tancredo will never, ever be President. Thank Allah for that.

    August 3, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. J. Lee, San Diego, CA

    The stupidity involved in statements like this is unbelievable. That's like someone saying that they should bomb the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City. Of course if it were some terrorist group advocating this, we wouldn't be surprised. But if a foreign government did, what would be the reaction? And to think guy is an "elected" official in this country.

    August 3, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. Brooklyn, NY

    I'm not so sure. These so called "people" seem to understand only violence and fear. Perhaps this is one method we should try before we succumb to the ol' polical corrdctness which is already ruining this country!

    August 3, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. gabe NYC, NY

    did this guy go to college?

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