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. Shocked

    Goodness Gracious, does Mr Tancredo's elevator stops at every floor?

    August 3, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. Matt, Boston, MA

    First, anyone who think s saudi arabia is our ally is woefully uniformed. We've been way too hands off with these guys, the Muslim world – MANY of whom wouldn't think twice about nuking us – for way too long. It's time we really meant business. They do. I've lived in the middle east and believe me, this kind of thing is the only thing they'll pay attention to.

    August 3, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. Jim, Reno, NV

    Nothing like insighting those within a country supposedly allied with the USA! Trancredo's a warmongering neo-con and the thought that he's even running for president is an insult to all Americans!

    August 3, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. Mike, Minot, ND

    Let's also ask WHY there are these young men and women willing to blow themselves up in the name of their religion. Hypothetically, let's say that you are a young man, in a country with basically nothing but a long and glorious history, which was plundered for it's resources, leaving it's people with basically nothing. In life, you have almost nothing to call your own. A religious cleric tells you that you can have a way out, and offers you hope of a better future, in paradise. Would you not at least listen to what he has to say. There are a very few who are desperate enough, who have given up on this life, who will take that cleric at his word, and sacrifice themselves in the name of the only thing that they have, religion.

    If they were to have something else in life, a purpose to live for, the resources in which to live it, do you think that as many people would listen to these radical clerics? Or, would these young men and women begin to write off these clerics as raving lunatics? I think so. Helping to set up education, and other resources for Muslims in these countries would go a long way into helping our cause. I believe this would help to moderate this area of the world.

    Let them return to their glorious history, and continue in their great traditions. Baghdad was once a revered center of learning in the ancient world. When the Europeans were in the Dark Ages, the Muslim world was in a Golden Age.

    Simply, the "white man" has plundered the riches of the Muslim world too long, and left it bit a shell of what it once was.

    Let's help them rebuild.

    August 3, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. Luke Chicago IL

    Let's create this scenario:

    You steal my car, so I kill your husband/wife. How would you react?

    August 3, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Azeem, Rockville MD

    This guy is completely insane. There goes his hopes on becoming president.

    August 3, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. Saviola Mendes

    So Bush isn't the biggest idiot after all.

    August 3, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. Vulcan, Charleston, SC

    It won't work. They don't really care about their mosques. Look at what they do to places of worship in Iraq.

    – Don't export alcohol to those Muslim countries (yes, they do drink a lot!)
    – Block them from accessing our porn sites (and you thought Muslim men were pious ? Please !)

    Those two should make them desperate and willing to pay attention to our demands.

    – Force Muslims in this country speak up when their fellow Muslims commit atrocious crimes.
    – Make the Imam in Detroit take out a Fatwa on the one-eyed Taliban mullah for killing innocent South Koreans.

    August 3, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. JJ sweetwater Tx

    AT least you will know where this man stands : like in old days always carry a big stick as it was said. Strength is what is needed not negotations.

    August 3, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. Chad, Centennial, CO

    C'mon now folks. We should be proud of 'lil Tommy. He's always been slower than all the other kids, but boy does he really try. Just look how far he's come. We have to give him some slack when he acts out. He just wants attention. He's just not as smart as all the other girls and boys who can gain recognition with their intelligence, thoughtfulness and rationality. Personally, I'm honored to have Big T representing me in our nation's capital.

    August 3, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. Mickey Droke Kokomo Indiana

    This man has my vote already and i know of about 500 other people that feel the same way. he needs to be our next president. finaly a man with some back bone and good go man! ! come to indiana and give us a speech...we want to hear what you have to say...

    August 3, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. Facts Oflife, San Diego, Ca.

    The only way we can find out what the Muslims are up to is by making their own work against them. Many would be afraid of losing Mecca and Medina and would warn of any maasive attack against us in advance.

    Just sitting back without any deterrent is suicidal.

    August 3, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Jason, Las Vegas NV

    I swear, I've been saying this for years. It's called a deterent, all of you crybabies. It's called, you "F" with me, I'll "F" with you ten times worse. I bet the Muslim world runs out of holy sites before we run out of bombs.

    Make Mecca glow in the dark for the next 2,000 years and see who wants to play tough with us again.

    And if we bomb Pakistan into the stone age, killing ever man, woman, child, goat, and blade of grass, who do you think is going to try anything? No, instead, you have your own elected officials trying to withdraw from battles because their political success is tied to us being defeated and they spend more time worrying about the rights of terrorists (you know, you call them "insurgents") and whether or not we should eavesdrop on them to protect this country.

    Needs someone with a pair of stones to keep the whiney liberals' right to be whiney liberals' safe. And they just don't realize it's the right that fights the fights to help protect their freedom to be on the left. Go to the Middle East and see how well liberals fare, then moan about the U.S. government.

    August 3, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. E.Sabo

    GOOD IDEA!!!!!!

    August 3, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. Robin, San Francisco, CA

    This is someone representing the United States? Totally absurd and uncalled for. Terrorists don't represent all "Muslims", and isn't Saudi Arabia a US Ally? Completely IGNORANT!

    August 3, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. Chandra Condit, DC

    Somehow I don't the the kingdom of Saud would mych appreciate that.

    What frightens me the most is the feeling that most neo-cons feel the same way, they're just not as mentally challanged as Tancredo and won't say it.

    August 3, 2007 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  17. Jordan, Norman, Oklahoma

    Might I remind people that when Japan (a neutral country towards us) bombed Pearl Harbor, we declared war on them and nuked them. Not to say we should nuke Mecca or Medina, but a strong retaliation against these cities would be justified. It worked with Japan, follow history right?

    Hit 'em where it hurts if they do it again, that's what they did to us.

    August 3, 2007 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  18. Craig (Vancouver)

    Wow! This guy represents all that is wrong with the idea of "deterrence". Anybody who believes that bombing a Muslim holy site would deter the extremely small percentage of Muslims who are fundamentalists from carrying out another terrorist attach is living in a dream world. In fact what it probably would do is enrage the 99.9% of Muslims who do not support terrorist attacks, and perhaps push them toward the terrorist cause. Honestly, I can say without reservation that, in an era of poorly-conceived public discourse, this is the most inane thing to come out of a politician's mouth in a while. If, through some unimaginable electoral folly, this man was elected President, the world's confidence in America would be further shaken.

    August 3, 2007 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  19. shocked, houston tx

    Goodness Gracious, my oh my, does his elevator stops at each floor?

    August 3, 2007 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Sad , very sad. It is unfortuante that a leader of our nation can stoop so low top say such a thing. Its that attitude that has tarnished our image all over the world whether it be in teh Muslim world or not.

    August 3, 2007 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  21. Mike, Seattle WA

    Not Mr. Tancredo's fault....not enough oxygen to the brain in some parts of Colorado (certainly where he hangs).

    August 3, 2007 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. Ken, New Orleans, LA.

    I think that's a GREAT idea!!

    August 3, 2007 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. Tony, Washington DC

    I wonder if he wanted to bomb Michigan or northwestern US after the OK City bombing? Because some of those militia men don't believe in our way of life either. This is why people think he's a bigot. What about bombing Mexico City b/c they won't stop illegal immigration on their side of the border or China b/c of their dangerous products? Maybe we can deter all of them by bombing there sacred/ holy places?
    This guy is a moron pretending to be an idiot!

    August 3, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. Geoff

    This is wrong for a ton of reasons. But the bottom line is that bombing Mecca and Medina as a "deterrent" assumes that terrorists think rationally. The average, moderate Muslim holds these places to be sacred. The fanatic cares about nothing but death and destruction, whether or not it takes place in a holy site.

    August 3, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. Rada, Houston Texas

    ANOTHER REPUBLICAN WITH RADICAL IDEAS ON HOW TO RE-SHAPE THE MIDDLE EAST... MY GOD DID WE LEARN ANYTHING FROM THE BUSH-CHENEY DOCTRINE... GET REAL!!! Like the moron in the Whitehouse thinking he could go there and teach them democracy… 5,000 years too late.
    Tancedo, buy a gun put it in you mouth and pull the trigger.

    August 3, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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