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. Paul, CA

    So are we going to blow up the church of the nativity next time a Christian extremist bombs an abortion clinic?

    August 3, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Robert, Edwards AFB, CA

    I cant believe what I'm reading here (the original statement and many comments).

    Are we living in Nazi Germany? What the hell is wrong with you people? Would you be ok with putting all Jews in gas chambers, too?

    August 3, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. Stephen Taylor, Macon, GA

    If you do that you can guarantee that EVERY Muslim would turn against us, and there are seven million of them in the U.S.–many of them citizens. Tancredo and his ilk really seem to want to see the end of the world.

    August 3, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Justin, St. Louis, MO

    That is awesome!

    August 3, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Byron WIlmington, NC

    I like the idea, but you would certainly need to be well-prepared for World War III.

    August 3, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Jason Paul Fox, Rochester NY

    Great idea, Tom! Maybe if we also bomb the Vatican, that will deter priests from molesting little boys?

    PS: While were at it, can we bomb Nashville? I don't like country music.

    August 3, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Anwar, Austin, Tx.

    Bombing the holy cities, according to Islam, would only put the United States more at risk for another terrorist attack. This would not end any type of "extreme islam" or as Bush emphasizes "Al-Qida". It is sad that people are brain-washed by the media and believe that Islam is actually full of hatred and killing. Did Al-Qida or Islam cause the Oklahoma city bombings, anthrax in our mail, bridge collapsing in Minnesota, Columbine shootings, VT shootings? We are so stuck on Al-Qida and all these anti-Islamic movements that America is falling apart. We are scared to leave our own houses, because there is a "orange" level threat at the airport. The government has destroyed this country and it is mostly to blame on the Bush administration.

    Bush doesn't have an answer to 9/11. Since he hasn't done anything to investigate this tragedy, he can only result to, "Iraq has weapons of mass destruction" and the American people will sit there and agree. However, their sons (troops) are being slaughtered along with innocent civilians each minute. What a beautiful world we live in.

    Good Day.

    August 3, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. viyer

    what an idiot, if this plan were to actually go through, and a largely christian nation such as the US bombed the OVERALL holiest place in the world of all religions, i'm pretty sure all ties to oil would be cutoff, as well the vatican getting obliterated by the muslims. think of the big picture.

    August 3, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. John Smith, New York, New York

    Mr. Tancredo, What do you predict the Muslims will do after you a-bomb Mecca?

    August 3, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. Leonardo D. , Houston, TX

    WOW. It is amazing how can someone representing thousands can freely state such absurd and irresponsable comments. People have to understand that extremist aren't only born in muslim country's, here we have a congressman RUNING FOR PRESIDENT. How ignorant you have to be to not realise that Mecca and Medina are places were millions of NORMAL muslims with nothing against the U.S go to pray. Bomb them and we will make them all extremist. DUMB

    August 3, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. TT

    I abosultely agree and I would go further to suggest that we would hold all Muslim States responsible throughout the World and completely destroy their capitals and major cities / infrastructure if we are attacked.

    August 3, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. Phil

    We're dealing with loony-tunes that are literally awash in a culture of death. What other deterrent is there than the threat of retaliation against something they hold dear?

    The reason it's shocking is because it's politically-incorrect. And that's a GOOD thing. The world has no use for political correctness. Tancredo's statements probably offended the same knee-jerk, intellectually-nihilistic, Christmas-banning PC liberals that consider flushing a Koran down the toilet a hate crime, but would have nary a complaint if it had been a Bible.

    August 3, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. C, Chesapeake, VA

    We are told over and over that the fundamentalists are only a Tiny Minority of Extremists in Islam, and that most Muslims are moderates who just want to live in peace with their families. Fine. If the Tiny Minority of Extremists is really so tiny, it shouldn't be hard for the overwhelming majority of moderates to weed them out. In which case, nothing will happen to Mecca.

    It is time for the moderates (if they are truly present in Islam in such overwhelming numbers) to step up to the plate and take back their faith.

    Maybe such a threat would even prompt the saudis to use some of their trillions of petrodollars to clean the hate literature (published by the saudi government) from the hundreds of mosques they control in the US.

    Of course, it could be that the Tiny Minority of Extremists isn't as tiny as we've been led to believe ...

    August 3, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. Rollins Mackaye, Gainesville, FL

    Is it just me or aren't the terrorists looking for a "holy war"? Wouldn't bombing their holy sites give them them more reasoning to assume that they are actually in a holy war? It seems to me that it would be a "nothing left to lose" outlook on the part of the terrorists if we destroy Mecca.

    Plus we would just look like enormous, disrespectful, irreverent jerks. Oh wait. We're America.

    August 3, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Dem Libs are the real enemy of the country

    I'm so glad that some of you spineless "Americans" aren't leading our country. Tancredo's words, whether backed by sincere action or not, send a pointed message, DON'T think you can attack the US and not pay heavy heavy consequences. Most of you Dem libs would rather follow Obama's lead and roll over to the terrorists! Shame on you. At least Tancredo is willing to stand by his assertive message, and is still willing to listen to alternatives.

    August 3, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Jeremy, Rochester NY

    All this crying and belly aching from the same type of lemmings who would have balked at bombing of Japan to end WWII.
    When terrorism or our sorry ass border policy finally personally has impact on your life, you'll be begging for hard politics like this.
    I would be proud to have him as a rep from my district. He echos the voices of most of the people I hear from.
    Pull out our troops, fight this war the way it should be. Our expensive toys evaporating their mud huts and adobe palaces.

    August 3, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. Gregory, Merrick, NY

    At first I thought, “What about the majority of Muslim peoples throughout the planet who are not radical lunatics?” Then it hit me, it's too easy to assume he is merely the smallest right percentile on the political bell curve. Tancredo’s comment is so outrageous that one has to wonder why he really made them. Ann Coulter, with her oodles of “couth” would never suggest that we threaten to bomb the holiest place in the lives of millions of our own citizens. In my opinion, Tancredo is an agent of the Taliban or possibly Iran hired to spread counter intelligent propaganda in an attempt to call the ENTIRE Muslim population to arms against America. Tancredo’s M.O. includes outlandish statements and public appearances that coincidentally give a face to the exact stereotypical American “pig” that the Ahmadinejads of the world create to jam down the throats of their impressionable masses. Aside from publicly calling Miami a "third world country;" he reportedly gave a speech to an ultra-conservative group while draped in a Confederate flag. This Tancredo character is clearly trying his hardest to bury America’s lowest common denominator somewhere below the Earth’s mantle. His master plan is most likely to turn sympathetic ears into hate spewing recruitment posters for Islamic Fundamentalism. Just something to let marinate for a while...

    August 3, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Ricki, Phoenix, AZ

    Politics play dirty games, all Muslims are not bad, our future presidents should talk about peace and harmony of the country rather then bombing the religious places. Bush started war in Iraq without focusing on Afganisthan....what a shame. First improve what is wrong please don't make more enemies for the country. Give us health care rather then wasting Billions of Dollars on wars.

    August 3, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. Raymone, Charlotte, NC

    All these 'holier than thou' christ-ies turn my stomach. Did anyone read the Hirsi Ali article on the Washingtonpost/newsweek website? This is an evil religion that knows nothing about compromise. If you don't convert willingly, you'll convert at the end of a blade or die. It's pretty simple, even for the 'simpler' of those in our country.

    Tancredo is right on the money. I've been waiting for a politician to actually say this out loud.

    The rest of you all are just lemmings...

    August 3, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. Gary

    Good Idea !!!!!!!
    Should have already been blown off the Map a long time ago.

    August 3, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. South Carolina

    This guy isn't smart enough to spell 'IQ'.

    Bringing the US down to the level of terrorists, simply makes us more like them.

    Threatening to bomb THEIR HolySites makes the US the terrorists.

    Not only is this guy a 5th term Congressman, he is a TEACHER !! Let's hope he is not teaching what he is preaching...

    I still can't believe that ANYONE would say something like that, even a republican.

    August 3, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. Independent Voter, TN

    I have never heard the words "idiot" and "moron" ever used this much. The level of political discourse is so low that it's impossible to take seriously the credibility of any of you who post in such a hostile fashion.

    It's fine to disagree and to offer opinion, but knowing that it is unlikely that any of you are political geniuses, try to hold off on rude personal aspersions...your comments and opinions will carry more weight.

    August 3, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. Steven Schmidt, Sanford NC

    The man is a danger to all of us if that is what he truley belives.

    August 3, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. spencer, Boron CA

    Im actually grateful that this is in the news. I hope that, by hearing about this guys proposal, we can stop ourselves from starting to think along these lines. I cant even imagine what would happen if Mecca or Medina were bombed by our government. The world would turn into a warzone like we can't even imagine which is probably what the Jihaddists want.

    August 3, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. Chuck

    WOW. You couldn't make this up. I have never seen such a desperate attempt to garner some attention. Mr. Tancredo has left the building.

    August 3, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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