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. Anonymous

    sure makes one think about his electorate, and reaffirms foreign views on US citizens` IQs. sorry

    August 3, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Randall Seefeldt, Indianapolis, Indiana

    Well, Tancredo's comment got him what he wanted: the newsworthiness that his candidacy is otherwise woefully incapable of generating.

    The price tag? Fear and trembling among the miniscule percentage of the world's Muslims on the fringe? No, the ire of the quiet masses of Muslims who are (were?) either neutral or on our side.

    Thanks, Mr. Tancredo, for proving that in this great land, any idiot can run for President...and one is sure to win.

    August 3, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. Walter Poe, Westerville, Ohio

    Don’t worry about it. This guy does not have a chance in Hell. He'll drop soon. This idiot won’t make it past next April. What an Idiot..... That really makes a lot of since, Lets bomb one of the Holiest Sites. How many Muslims live in this country and you want to bomb their most holiest site. Oh yea, your presidential material. For Libya maybe…..

    August 3, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. Andrew, Athens Ohio

    Good job making this war not seem like a holy war (sarcasm intended)... What will striking Muslim holy site do other than turn more moderate and liberal Muslims against the United States...In this day and age it's surprising how little our representatives know about the Middle East and Islam...Disappointing

    August 3, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. Debra Upland, CA

    You have got to be kidding me!!!

    August 3, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. Irene, Greeley, Colorado

    Actually, he does represent the block around his home. But he doesn't represent ALL of Colorado.

    Colorado citizens it is time to step up to the plate. We must all buy or rent in Tancredo's district so that next time he comes up for election, he is not voted in by a majority of stupid people!

    August 3, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. laliquida

    This is the best idea this guy could come up with?! Newsflash to Tom: Most of the leaders of these terrorist groups are not as religous as they claim. It is a front to seduce impressionable followers. There are more holes in this idea than any solution I've heard. What an idiot.

    August 3, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. jason poindexter Austin, TX

    LOL. Tancredo is a MORON.

    August 3, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    I'm from CO, and its clear this representative did not discuss this matter with the muslim community in the US for reactions before he made such a statement. Not only would such action disrupt or international ties to allies all over the world, but would violate the laws of armed conflict making him and anyone who obeyed those orders war criminals, but would likely send the message to moderate American muslims that American policy is against their religion giving rise to countless homegrown terrorists. To attack a civilian "target" like a mosque is s war crime, and this candidate has just told us that if we were to elect him, he would likely become a war criminal because these terrorists aren't done with us yet.

    August 3, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. Riaz, Jersey City,NJ

    Great idea!!! Please pass it in Congress!!! Mr. Tancredo should publish a detailed plan and get into action. Assuming it gets done, Muslims will build the place again. Then pass another Bill and destroy again.. Muslims will build again.. Please pass another Bill.. By now, five decades would have gone and thus, Mr. Tancredo would have successfully solved TERRORISM in planet EARTH, as per this plan. Mr Tancredo should understand that the fight is not with Muslims, it is with Al-Qaeda and the arm suppliers of Al-Qaeda, many Muslims including me around the world wont recognize Al-Qaeda as MUSLIMs(even Saudis wont recognize them). They are cowards using Islam to fight their political battle. Mr. Tancredo, how are you different?

    August 3, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Kevin Charlotte NC

    All you liberals know how big of a crock religion is so dont act like these Muslim holy sites are all that important. Eye for an Eye baby! Nothing good comes out of the middle east, Religion-man made nonsense, oil-ruining our planet, terrorism-sexually frustrated suicide bombers blowing up innocent americans, and hummus-ok this may be the only good thing...
    Let the middle east rot!

    August 3, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Wellwood

    I have never heard a more asinine comment in all of my life. How could the prospective leader of the “free world” advocate bombing religious sites. It’s obvious that the candidate hasn’t a clue as to what would be one of the leading causes of WWIII.

    August 3, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. j, new york, ny

    or it would just give anyone in the world a free pass to bomb our 'holy sites'. dumb and dumber...

    August 3, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Murray, Prince George, VA

    I think Tom Tancredo is right. Any State Department puke or anyone else who thinks his statement is outlandish needs to pack their bags and go to the middle east. I've been there. I've faught the terrorists. I've faught the Muslims. Yes, Muslims. They are the one's that think this is a holy war. If it were up to me, I'd kill just about every single one of those people until their backs were broken. They simply will not stop. Zeal like that is great when it's for a good cause. Not when you're hell bent on a fanatical form of extremism. Unfortanetly, that's the entire Muslim world. If I'm wrong, prove it.

    August 3, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Tancredo Hater, USA, ALL DAY

    Why are the republicans always scared? Grow some of those things all you Republicans claim to have.

    August 3, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. Jay, Cincinnati, Ohio

    It’s about time! Islamofacists are fighting a holy war against all who are not Muslim. It’s a holy war they want so it’s a holy war we should give them. Destroy all their holy sights. They will not stop until all of us are converted or killed. It’s about time our politicians wake up and realize this!

    August 3, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. LS, Manalapan NJ

    Why not? I seem to recall that back during the days of the cold war we deterred our enemies with the threat of our annihilation of their own population centers if we were attacked. Since all the extremists in the Middle East pay so much attention to their so-called 'religion', but not to life (theirs or ours) a direct threat to the very core of their 'beliefs' would be in order.
    I'd say we should bomb the vatican too if it were extremist catholics threatening us.

    August 3, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. D Frost

    What a country! It's great. I think the people who believe Tancredo is nuts are as crazy as I think they are for not agreeing with him! However, the most of the comments in the blog reveal the woeful educational system in this country. Most of the writers wouldn't know a logical syllogism if it slapped them in the face!

    August 3, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. CJK Wheaton Il.

    Tancredo never said "bomb Medina and Mecca". He said to threaten to bomb them if there are attacks on the United States!!! Only a blithering idiot reads a paraphrase of what someone says and then ascribes that as an original quote. Duh Rob C. from Pittsburg


    August 3, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. Charlston, Virginia

    This guy is nutts.. is he a decendant of of Bush cos I can't imagine how he could have the political background yet the stupidity of the current administration multiplied by 1,000,000,000.

    Good luck with your primary campaign.
    I think he is making a smart move though. He probably wants to pull out of the primary as it definetly costs a lot of money staying there when you know you ain't got a chance in hell but can't justify it to his backers so decides to commit suicide then blame it on all the fanatics and dems.

    Good riddance...

    August 3, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  21. Zahra

    Stupid fool. Say that to a Muslim's face.

    August 3, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. GJ, Concord, CA

    He's absolutely right. This will be a deterrent, just as pigs fat on bullets would be a deterrent. We can't fight Middle Eastern philosophy and attitudes with Western philosophy and attitudes. We have to fight them with what they understand. Threatening their so called holy sites would be one such measure.

    August 3, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. Ryan, Puoghkeepsie, NY

    Let me understand what some of the posters are saying " We'll tolerate a nuclear attack on the US but bombing Macca and Medine is simply crazy-talk"

    Way to go ! A nuke attack may not be a bad thing if it wipes out these cretins here.....

    August 3, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. Ryan, New York, NY

    Rod Burnette,
    "Separation of Church and State" was coined by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, two guys who obviously had nothing to do with the Constitution, Bill of Rights, or the First Amendment. I think it was pretty clear from all of their writings, which, you know, constitutional scholars study endlessly for an understanding of the Constitution, that the phrase "Congress shall make no law respecting establishment of religion" means that religion and government don't mix.

    As for this Tancredo comment, I'm all for bombing the hell out of all of the Muslims, right after we bomb all of our own crazies that we can't control here. You people don't realize that you're all the exact same in so many of our eyes that it's sickening.

    When you realize that the terrorists don't represent the majority of Muslims, come back and talk. Maybe the next time some Christian fundie bombs an abortion clinic, we should bomb a couple of churches from the bomber's denomination in retaliation.

    The terrorists would LOVE us to bomb a holy site. Then they would have the justification and motivation get their BILLIONS of followers into the fight and wipe the floor with the United States.

    August 3, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. Layla, New York, NY

    Anyone who thinks that this would be a deterrent is a dolt. Don't you fools understand that Muslim extremists don't actually care about their religion or religious sites as much as they just care about killing as many non-Muslims? If the US were to intentionally target civilians, the extremists would be absolutely thrilled! They'd get to say "SEE how bad America is?" The only reason Muslims complain about stuff like cartoons and the like is because they KNOW America does not intentionally target civilians, so they have to find some other BS to complain about. Mind you, I was RAISED a Muslim.

    August 3, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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