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. nsanghvi, Sugar Land, TX

    We have alienated ourselves from the Muslims of the world for a few generations. Now, if this so called representative of the people of Colorado has his way, each one of us will have to defend ourselves anywhere we are in the world.

    August 3, 2007 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  2. Brandon, Austin Texas

    This guy is a freak. Good thinking buddy. Just another good ol' boy with a ding dong for a brain. God Bless us.

    August 3, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  3. Scott, Pembroke Pines, Florida

    So you want to bomb a holy site just because someone in that geographic area attacks this country? You do not bomb Bethlahem because a white man attacked you. Sir, if you make the mistake and destroy a place like Mecca, I assure you, that that will be the last mistake you will ever make.

    August 3, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  4. Mark, Jacksonville Florida

    I couldn't agree more with this!! The reason America is not taken seriously in the Middle East is because we are too concerned with insulting anyone or crossing into their religious areas. Areas that they use for staging because they know we won't go there! The only way to get the ordinary people to turn against the insurgents and terrorists is to take the gloves off and hit them where it counts.

    Bring our troops home and hit their sites with cruise missiles. You hit us....we hit you twice as hard!

    o better deterent than that!!!!!

    God Bless America!

    August 3, 2007 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  5. joe B

    We need people who aren't afraid of upsetting the terrorists. OOHh no the terrorists will be angry and bomb my shopping mall if I destroy their precious Mecca.. Lets just give them what they want and they will go away... NOT!
    They want to kill us all. Wake up morons!

    August 3, 2007 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |


    August 3, 2007 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  7. Frank

    obviously this guy is not going anywhere... just trying to get attention by talking nonsense.

    August 3, 2007 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  8. Salman Alim, Philadelphia

    I cant believe that a person with such beliefs is even allowed to contend for our next president.

    How different are you from the terrorists, Mr. Tancredo?? Fire your political advisor if you want to stay in politics.

    August 3, 2007 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  9. Abbe, Tyler, TX

    You act like this just happened but this was a long, long time ago that Tom Tancredo said this. Personally, I think it is a great idea and that we should round up the ones here who are murdering people who own liquor stores and send them back home while we are at it. Search out and destroy all their little terrorist schools.......

    I'm not so sure that bridge collapse in Minneaoplis wasn't a terrorist attack the they are keeping hushed up, either.

    August 3, 2007 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  10. Anonymous, North Carolina

    What a horrifying concept! Even more horrifying is the number of people who have commented in support of such a ridiculous, maniacal, and short-sighted proposal, claiming this small-minded puppet of the conservative GOP, who masquerades as a congressman and presidential candidate. Misquoting the Bible to rationalize this action not only doesn't give it credence, it actually does "embolden the enemy," as we are so often reminded by the ineffective leadership in the White House.

    August 3, 2007 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  11. Peter, Stockton, CA


    August 3, 2007 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  12. Richard Rowe, Singapore (Formerly Reston, VA)

    another idiot politician in Washington. I suppose it doesn't help that he is Republican. I am truly happy to have left the US for several years abroad given the mentality of the current administration (and a good deal of Congress).

    August 3, 2007 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  13. Johnny, New Brunswick NJ

    This is just clearly a case of another "elected" representative expressing his ignorance and lack of knowledge in politics, foreign policies, and understanding of a race and culture.

    August 3, 2007 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  14. AS, RIchmond, VA

    omg he's advocating terrorism, basically. what has this country come to?

    i mean how can you be against terror if you advocate it against others yourself?

    if anybody in the Muslim word is reading this, I apologize on behalf of all Americans and this great nation.

    August 3, 2007 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  15. Middle Eastern, Jordan

    You gotta love how CNN is just another tool that politicians and lobbies use to reach their goals.

    By saying insane things, Tancredo hopes now that Bin Laden or his assistant Al Zawahiri will mention his name in their next video clip...and that is going to make one hell of a campaign ad. It will go like this: (Tancredo...Bin Laden hates him because he is the best for America!!!)

    People, by just suggesting attacking Muslim holy sites (or just featuring someone who wants to do the same) CNN is trying to make you familiar and accepting of other close but less insane ideas such as Israel controlling holy Muslim sites such as Eastern Jerusalem. Don't foget that Bush is pushing for peace between Israel and Palestine before 08 to save his Rep. party in the elections.

    August 3, 2007 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  16. Kristen, Minneapolis, MN

    I can't believe this guy. There is nothing that the terrorists would love more than for us to make every Muslim in the world take up their cause. These places are holy to all Muslims, not just the crazies. So, why the hell would it make sense to piss off ever Muslim in the entire world, including all of them in this country. This guy doesn't deserve to be called a Republican.

    August 3, 2007 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  17. A concerned citizen

    Seriously, no thoughtful, caring person wants to destroy or hurt anyone or anything. However, in this case, Mr. Tancredo makes a valid point. I see nothing wrong in making policy that if our innocent citizens are attacked again by radical practitioners of religion AND WE CAN PROVE IT, we must permanently deny them the central focus of that faith by eliminating the source of their belief system, or things which they value highly. I see nothing wrong in destroying so-called Holy sites themselves, in the middle of the night, with short, advance notice, so janitors and others may be safely evacuated and the facilites reduced to rubble. Sure, it may be bad for a while, but then again, it may force seventh century thinking to give way to modern thinking where the rights of everyone must be respected. Diplomacy with people in the region simply does not work. Diplomacy is viewed as weakness. Only brute force or fear has any practical effect. A policy like this would force these folks to police themselves. And, in case of an attack, they would only have themselves to blame.

    August 3, 2007 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  18. RC, New York, NY

    If having a democracy means allowing people to voice their ideas not matter how idiotic or reprehensible, can we please have an oligarchy or a monarchy?

    August 3, 2007 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  19. Steve, Miami FL

    I'm a bit confused, were these statements made by Bin Laden or Tancredo? Just amazing! Did the people of Colorado actually vote this guy in or did he just tamper with the votes to get his way into office? Instead of Congress, he should be working for the Bush administration. He'd fit right in.

    August 3, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  20. Scott, Long Valley, N.J.

    It's about time that someone acted! We can't sit around so vulnerable as we are right now. We cannot succumb to the left wing political correctness as we have been. What's the alternative? Do nothing? Fight a stupid war in Iraq? We should hit the terrorists where they are and for whom they are.

    August 3, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  21. Paula and Sandy, Santa Monica, CA

    I totally support Tancredo except that I would expand the threat of retaliation to all Islamic countries that that enforce Sharia in any way. And I would promise a nuclear response.

    August 3, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  22. Rita, Toronto, Ontario

    Absolutely agree, it's high time that we band together as the western civilization who is fed up with others who want to impose their way on us. How dare they think that they have the liberty to attack us wantonly because they disagree with us. It's obvious that these muslim killers have no concept of decency and will stop at nothing to kill children, women and anyone else who is not a fundamentalist.

    August 3, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    another idiot who has no knowlegde of foriegn politics,will ruin this nation

    August 3, 2007 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  24. Larry R West Tawakoni Tx

    that is a stupid thought. first al quida is not religious and just uses religion to gain support. Johnson's army tried to do that in Utah and failed. You hit a hornets nest and you don't destroy bees, you just get them madder. try to understand the religion and use a limited nuke on their location.

    August 3, 2007 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  25. Pete

    I do not think Tom has stated a guarantee that he would have these places bombed. However, an honest threat of retaliation/punishment may indeed be a good deterrent. It may also get assistance from others.

    There are two motivations that can be imposed: a carrot and a stick. Many creatures respond to a specific one or both.

    The terrorists tend to view strength in a more positive light and tend to disdain weakness. President Bush has stated that all options are on the table (which includes nukes) to prevent Iran from gaining access to nuclear weapons. Senator Obama has stated that nuclear weapons are not be on the table as an option. Which do you think is more intimidating? Of course, President Bush is a far cry (especially now) from President Reagan in his early years (where the Cowboy threat of attack was much more believable, and hence, unnecessary)

    August 3, 2007 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
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