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. Rod, San Diego, CA

    Hey I think that he is on to something here. I don't bombing Islam’s most holy site is too smart. A couple of mosques here and there wouldn’t be too bad, especially those that are allowing terrorist to hide out after attacks on our troops. Good idea Tom… Just scale it down a bit.

    August 3, 2007 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  2. Foehammer,

    The lack of basic intelligence in this thread is appalling.

    Islam wars on the non-Muslim world and most of you act like sycophantic lemmings willing to lash out at anyone you disagree with and anything you do not comprehend. When the next attack upon us happens, be hopeful it happens in time to stop us from being eroded from within by the "nice" Muslims you all seem bent on appeasing. Terrorism is the easy part deal with. Fools.

    August 3, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  3. Kate, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Tancredo got elected on his tired drumbeat against immigrants. The first commenter has it right- Mecca is in Saudi Arabia. Since they are considered an ally, they might take exception to Tom's plan to bomb their holiest site. Will he bomb the Vatican also because the Pope is against his war? The problem with being ignorant is that there is no incentive to deal with the truth because you get a lot of attention for saying whatever stupid thing pops into your head. Tancredo is an ignoramus; the current anti-immigrant atmosphere brought his air-headed campaign back to life. He is a disgrace.

    August 3, 2007 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  4. David Stewart, Portland, Oregon

    Punishing all Muslims, by destroying holy sites, is only going to create more polarization between Christians and Muslims. These are historic sites that are important to our entire civilization, not just Muslims. I hope this spells the end for Mr. Tancredo's political career.

    August 3, 2007 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  5. Dave, Denver, CO

    MAD worked once before. I personally do not want to be on the receiving end of a sick muslim terrorists idea martyrdom.

    There needs to be some accountability in that culture where lies and hate are just part of the normal everyday life.

    August 3, 2007 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. concerned

    what a bloody moron!!! i'm surprised that this guy didn't suggest we bomb their schools and hospitals as well?? how did this guy even get elected!!

    August 3, 2007 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. Andy, chesapeake, va

    what the heck is this guy thinking. we bomb the civilians in retaliation for an attack on us. when has the united states sunk to the levels of the inferior terrorists. we needn't garner the further disapproval of the united nations and other nations of the world. i hope i never see the day when americans sink so low that they will bomb civilians in order to 'deter' terrorist bombings

    August 3, 2007 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  8. Sina, Tehran, Iran

    Mr. Tancredo is probably the only "would-be-president" who's more crazy than our Mr. Ahmadinejad and your Mr. Bush...
    at least Ahmadinejad doesn't have the capability to do what he says, and Bush doesn't have the time...
    I remember the Clinton-Khatami days, those were the good old days...

    August 3, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. Kiku, Moorestown, NJ

    Let me get this straight. I always thought what separates US (non-fanatics) from THEM (fanatics, in this case Islamic fanatics) is that they harm innocents, and we don't. Not intentionally anyway.

    With this moron's idea we all go down to the same bargain basement level. Yup! GREAT IDEA Tancredo. Way to bring take us all down with you.

    August 3, 2007 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  10. Greg, McLeansboro, IL

    Your right, it would mean business. It would also mean total war, bring in the Saudi's and any other Islamic nation on the face of the earth. I could see the Islamic fundamentalists hitting their own holy targets and blameing the West anyway. Once again we have a politician opening his mouth without thinking through the consequences. That's how we have been lead for the past 5 years, it's time to stop. Oh where have the statemen gone? Evidently not in the United States Congress.

    August 3, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  11. adam, Phoenix, AZ

    People calm down. The guy is a third rate politician who will never get elected. I have a better chance of getting abducted by aliens and anally probed then this nutjob ever getting elected president. If he ever got elected president, nah he won't,but just a hypothetical scenario, it will be they day america will be reduced to a beggar nation. Don't forget america is a debtor nation. All they have to do is stop the oil flow and sell their US treasury bonds. The world will follow and america will be carved up by the creditors. One other point to remember is that if the US ever attacked Mecca and Medina, Russia and China will not wait to be the next targets. They would preemptively strike. After all, if the US can bomb the holiest shrines of the 2nd largest religion on the planet, in their view whats stopping America striking them.
    But as I said this moron will never be elected, so we can all sleep soundly. To all you buffoons that agree with him, go ahead and vote for him. No sensible candidate would want your vote. On a side note(to tancredo supporters), please go back to school and finish your GED and then go to college. Perhaps you might then start using some of that grey matter that you were born with. I am sure its depressing when a chimp can think better then you. Oh by the way, I need my sewer cleaned! Any tancredo supporters available?

    August 3, 2007 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  12. anonymous, new jersey

    Tancredo has got to be the worst representative ever. He should know better than to make such a comment. Not only is Saudi Arabia an ally of the US, but the cities of Mecca and Medina are holy to all muslims around the world. He obviously is not a qualified presidential candidate. Instead of trying to improve America’s image, he is making it a lot worse by making such an idiotic comment. It’s a good thing he is not the representative of my state, and I do feel bad for those people of Colorado.

    August 3, 2007 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. O. Amaro, Alhambra, CA

    It's a sad time in America when presidential candidates feel they can win votes by threatening to bomb other culture/country's religious sites.

    What century is this?

    August 3, 2007 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  14. RiderzOnTS, Miami FL

    What is he, stupid?!!

    August 3, 2007 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  15. Amjad, NJ

    I am surprise to see that on one side we are calling people terrorists, extremists and bombing their homes and on the other hand people with same mentality are running for presidency. What a shame.

    August 3, 2007 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  16. adam, Phoenix, AZ

    To Jason in Richmond ,Va
    Don't ever forget your history. The germans were christians and they killed 6 million jews and millions of others. So should the jews now bomb every christian holy site?. That is the tancredo logic

    August 3, 2007 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  17. Chris Saia, Astoria, NY

    It continually amazes me how some people think other people are cowards and will back down to a show of force. Did the united States withdraw from the middle east after 9/11? No. we attacked Afghanistan, and, wrongly, Iraq.

    If we were to destroy Mecca, the muslim world would not back down in fear. They would recruit MILLIONS of muslims around the world, from EVERY country, including our own, to hit back in every conceivable manner. What's more, it would be a memory in the muslim mind that would not be forgotten for hundreds of years, maybe thousands. There would be no possibility of peace, ever. It would confirm every terrorists' accusations about the west.

    August 3, 2007 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  18. paul boise, ada,ok

    Finally, someone who understands real life situaions and acts accordingly. The only way to stop a bully is to fight the bully.

    August 3, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  19. Gerald Boatman, Omaha, Ne

    Are you out of your mind! Why would you say something like that?!? And act like it's okay. I'm incredibly angry that someone running for the Republican nomination would even open his mouth like , the bigot he is, and spew hatred out. I'm personally a Christian, and I respect other's religious beliefs. To me that's an act of terrorism. To terrorize a large group of people with the same religion based on a couple of wack jobs in the mountains along the Afghan-Pakistan border. For all the times that some groups of so called Christians killed innocent people(Native Americans, etc) and enslaved others in efforts to convert them. As a God fearing and people loving person, I know, trust and believe that there is no one group of people who are evil. In the notion that God created all people on this beautiful Earth equal, that is a fact. So Muslims are not evil. In fact Muslims, Christians, and Jews have a big factor in common, we all believe in mono-theism(one god). Like some Christians, Muslims have a spiritual connection to the main land of their religion. Mecca, the holy city, is where in the direction they pray to. A symbolism of their god itself. Destroying that, is like starting a publicized official "jihad" against Muslims. That would quote, 'cause a worldwide economic collapse'. If someone blew the Vatican off the map, I bet Catholics would be pretty pissed off. I would! The next thing you know someone like Tancredo would suggest us assassinate the Dali Lama, to let Buddhists know we mean business. To me it seems Tancredo is a terrorist. Someone should test him for madness, to make sure he can continue his job.

    August 3, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  20. Amjad, Woodbridge NJ

    I am surprise to see that on one side we are calling people terrorists, extremists and bombing their homes and on the other hand people with same mentality are running for presidency. What a shame.

    August 3, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  21. Shauna Denver, CO

    Elected by rural Colorado, is all I can say...

    I didn't/wouldn't ever vote for him. This representation makes me embarassed to be from Colorado...

    At least we have Salazar!!

    August 3, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  22. Alexander, Upper Marlboro, MD

    How do you stop Islamic madmen with a bomb? Everyday in the mosques in Medina and Mecca hate is preached against non-muslims all around the world. Attacking Buddhist in Thailand to Hindus in India with many more non-muslims slaughtered without mercy all around the world. So put that into context that the center of Islamic hate comes from Mecca and Mednia then it is a legit strategy. People can say this is silly now but will you say the same thing after several million American go up in flames. When you see American children with their skin melted off hospitals you may sing a different tune. When those mosque leaders after the attack say one thing in English about peace and in Arabic will say the kuffar must die. There is nothing sacred about Mecca. Live with it. He is (and I say this with all sadness) is ahead of his time. Self-Preservation always wins any debate in the end.

    August 3, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  23. Kurt, Drumheller, AB CANADA

    So I can only assume that if a group of Christian militia members blow up another federal building that Tancredo will advocate attacking the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to deter other Christian extremists. Fair is fair, right?

    How can you Americans vote for a guy like this?

    August 3, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  24. Jay,Florida

    He is right, these guys need to be put in place and I would support strikes against their holy places, you mean to tell me that the WTC aren't holy places for Americans

    August 3, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  25. David, Kansas City MO

    This is the most ludacris thing I have ever heard. We are against "Radical" muslims and the like. Not Muslims in general.

    And to think the Christian right is worried about Romney being a Mormon...

    August 3, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 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