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, NY NY

    A truly ignorant and ludicrous individual.

    August 3, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. mike montgomery vermont

    I agree 100%

    August 3, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. toe, Atlanta, GA

    Rod Burnette,
    Thanks for pointing out the facts about kamikazes to me. I'm just curious, though, why would you finish off by stereotyping me to being a government educated liberal? You are not sidestepping the point of argument here, are you, which is the reluctance to reason out the causes behind both the attacks on the US? Not getting my facts right, I can see, but a liberal?

    FYI, I'm just a curious passerby; left, right, centrist, I don't care. Hey, I'm not even a citizen here. That the suicide-attack-similarity failing appalls me even more. Aren't you supposed to be frustrated at someone/something else?

    August 3, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Mike Dunkel, Merritt Island, Florida

    We can't watch people in their countries. They must do the watching for us. If they believe that it is in their best interests to act in our interests, they will. True Muslim people will work to protect their holy sites. Trouble is, the american people can't stand the truth. Apparently, the State Dept. can't either.
    You MUST play by your adversaries rules or be prepared to forfeit. The President needs to reassure the country and the world the price of the next terror attack on the US or it's possesions have a cost so dear that the countries presently providing safe harbor for terrorism may want to rethink their position. Meanwhile, perhaps Mr. Casey from State should apply at the ACLU for his next position, where he is assured of being able to further dilute the value system this country was built upon by blaming almost anyone for almost anything. Reprehensible and crazy? Maybe. Kind of like going to war without an exit strategy. Meanwhile, while the State Dept. muddles around ineffectively, our soldiers die.
    Crazy and reprehensible, don't you think?

    August 3, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. Adam, Dayton Ohio

    Whether we choose to face it or not, America is at war with Islam. Combatants, in the name of Islam have declared war on us, precisely because they perceive us as infidels. Pointing out that many or even most Muslims are good people does not change this. Many Germans and many Japanese were no doubt good people during WWII, but this did not change the fact the rest of them were trying to kill us. Most of the Japanese killed in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which ended hostilities in the Pacific theater were good people, but thousands of American lives were spared by the decision to use those weapons on those populations. To me, the number of American lives the Iraq conflict is "worth" is zero. We need to either get serious about killing these folks, or get out. Walking around waiting for them to shoot us, for fear of accidentally harming 'noncombatants' (as if one could even tell who these are) is silly. An effective solution to 9/11 might have been to destroy an Islamic village with a population of approximately 3000 – preferably one from which one of the perpetrators originated. Destroying Mecca or Medina in response to another attack on the US by self-professed Islamic Jihadists may be politically incorrect, but it seems like a viable strategy to me. They chose the twin towers because victims were concentrated there, and because the terrorists viewed those victims as capitalists (which they think is our evil religion) worshiping at the temple of capitalism.

    August 3, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. Alan, Elkhart IN.

    I like this guy! His approach is fine by me!

    August 3, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. Dan. Houma, Louisiana

    I agree. Bomb the Muslims back to the 13th century where they belong. Kill them all. LEt Allah sort them out.

    August 3, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. geo ny, ny

    Great idea! Finally someone with enough guts to say it!

    August 3, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. Rick, Philadelphia, PA

    Frankly I'm ashamed and a little frightened as an American, not by Tancredo's insane comments – one person alone is just a lunatic – but by the alarming number of people AGREEING with him. Welcome to the Weimar Republic, it's only a matter of time now folks...

    August 3, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. Anon...............SC

    He has the right stragey, but wrong targets. We can't continue to roll over for these people all the time. They alre4ady think we are a bunch of weak sissys. We can't keep throwing money at people to bribeor appease them to not hurt us.

    August 3, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    Ok, Sanity break time: If the USA had its back to the wall, of course we'd hit the most demoralizing target. But that's not too likely, don't ya think? And seriously, why did this angry crazy radical man say such a fool thing? Some poor soldier in Iraq is paying for that right now, Tom. Hearts and minds, Tom. We'd like to show them a better way, a righter way, a more moral way, Tom. Shrill whiny threats make you sound weak, Tom. This country is incredibly strong, Tom, we're at war on two fronts and on alert eveywhere and the man on the street isn't being inconvenienced a bit. No gas and rubber shortages, no Victory Gardens, no newspaper drives. They must be peeing themselves in fear; they've never dared attack us again for fear of that strength. Nuke Mecca? Tom, we could occupy it and charge admission, make it into Disneyland if we wanted. Even our friends are afraid of our power. So, shut up! Shut your bullying mouth – there are real men still in the GOP and one of them needs to knock your teeth out.

    August 3, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. Andrew M Omaha, NE

    About time someone stood up and said it......

    August 3, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Ryan, Sarasota, FL

    In case you didn't notice :

    Pakistan(home of Islam terrorism) condemned Tancredo's statement.

    Looks like the terrorists are getting nervous. Tom might be onto something here.

    August 3, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Gaurav, New York City, NY

    good PR move guys... that's how to should view it. He's way behind in the primaries anyway!

    August 3, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Kyle, Walnut Creek, CA

    What a crazy loon! It's about the means not just the ends! Not only would this define our country as the "evil empire", but we would be bombing in ignorance! Are we willing to become a people who destroy that which we don't know, but fear? I'm deathly afraid of spiders and they can hurt me as well, but i'm not about to drop nukes on them!

    August 3, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Elliot Ness. - Quantico, Va

    "Muslim holy site" is an oxymoron. There is nothing that I consider "holy" about a religion that teaches children that they should blow themselves and others up so that they can have a bunch of virgins. Violence and sex religion??!?! We get angry that TV has too much violence and sex!! This is supposed to be a religion for crying out loud.

    I say that the US and all other non-muslim countries countries should band together to blow all of the sites up. It's time to rid the world of the evil people that propogate this madness.

    August 3, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. Joe, NJ

    Why don't you liberals just go live with Muslims, pray to Mecca five times daily, and live their lifestyle? That's what your children will be doing if you continue to cater to these unreasonable people. Liberals had prayer ripped from school, the ten commandments removed from courtrooms, but allowed school to be stopped for muslim prayer in CA and allowed call to prayer five times daily in MI. College students need to start using common sense and stop taking lectures from retarded liberal professors that never worked a day in their life outside of academia.

    August 3, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. Ben, Phoenix Arizona

    Is this guy out of his mind, religion has nothing to do with the terrorists, infact they used as an execuse to advance their idiology of hate and fear. Bombing holy sites will only bolster their claims agains the United States. I can't beleive that Mr Tancredo made such an outragous comment, it just goes to show what kind of leader he would be.
    America has many bright, intelligent leaders, Mr Tancredo has not made the roster.

    August 3, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  19. Charlene, Cape May Court House, NJ

    Finally, somebody with some stones to say what needs to be said. So tired of the United States trying to be so "politically correct" all the time whereas we end up being wimps instead of the strong nation that we once were. Time to start fighting back!!!

    August 3, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. Mick Epson

    This is great! Who needs sit-com's? We have american politics and CNN!

    August 3, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Is this guy for real??!!!!!

    August 3, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  22. Columbia, SC

    Stupid statement, I guess his dream of becoming President is not coming true.

    August 3, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. Chris S., Greenville, SC

    If they want to hit us where it hurts, then let's play by their "eye for an eye" rules. That's the language they speak, so they ought to understand it! Passivity certainly isn't the answer. I applaud Mr. Tancredo for standing up and speaking out. Bravo!!!

    August 3, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. Ted Williamson, Plymouth, Michigan

    Tancredo is a complete moron. The terrorists will hit us just so that we WILL bomb Mecca, which will incite all Muslims to attack the US. What a douchebag

    August 3, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. Frank, charlotte, nc

    Understand something, people. Tancredo doesn't want to actually bomb Mecca anymore than Ike, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush I wanted to bomb Moscow. His idea is to put the bad guys on notice that nuking an American city will cause them immense pain. BTW, without Mecca, no Muslim can make the Haj. It ends the religion. This is the ultimate deterrent to Muslims nuking a U.S. city. They have to believe that we would strike back hard. Remember, a lot of Al-Qaida captured in Afghanistan were bewildered that the great Paper Tiger ("The Weak Horse") fought back. This is the single most important question to be posed to candidates in this election: New York, Boston, and Los Angeles have just been nuked by Arab terrorists: What do you do? Tancredo at least has an answer. I'd like to hear what the other candidates have to say.

    August 3, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66