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. Lindsey, IA

    Um, not all Muslims are terrorists, but moves like this one, and even him saying them creates more terrorists. What a moron.

    August 3, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Lisa, Littleton, CO

    As a long-time resident in Tancredo's Colorado district, I can tell you that he is a total embarrasment to those of us who watch our neighbors mindlessly voting for this idiot election after election. Depth? Leadership? Naw, he's simply a garden-variety bigot who has mined a rich vein of fear with like-minded people. It's a sad sad commentary on the state of our country.

    August 3, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. Zangief, Cleveland, OH

    CNN – Please change the word "first" to the phrase "if we are attacked again" in the headline of this article. I would expect crap like this from Faux News, but now I see why you guys can't shake the "liberal media bias" allegations.

    August 3, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. Jeff Lopatka, Los Angeles, CA

    Comments like Tancredo's make me think that certain members of the GOP really want a world war. Do they even entertain the repercussions of such an act? Perhaps they do...perhaps they know exactly what would happen if they were to bomb Mecca. Because, after all, Jesus is supposed to come down and save the believers, right Colorado Springs? We're already guaranteed's in the Bible!!

    Good job, Colorado! Way to nominate yourselves for the 2007 Bastion of Ignorance award.

    August 3, 2007 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. JL, Chicago, Illinois

    While bombing the Muslim holy sites might make some Republicans feel good for a few minutes, I can't think of a faster way to guarantee a lifetime of terrorism directed at the United States. How, exactly, would that deter SUICIDE bombers?

    August 3, 2007 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. Floyd, Knoxville, Tn.

    I love how people with a certain political agenda can read something and get a totally different meaning than what was actually stated. FACT: The man didnot say he was going to pre-emptively attack their Holy sites. He simply stated that if you attack something precious of ours, expect like-wise. One commenter said he could not believe we would attack something so precious to these people. I guess we have short memories, but New York was and is pretty precious to me. The terrorists are said to have seven cities in the United States targeted for mass destruction. I think if we let them know up front what the consequences of their actions would be, they would be less likely to mount an attack on us. I also believe by letting the muslim community know the consequences of these type terrorist actions, then the majority of muslims would not be as mad at the U.S. for retaliation as much as they would be the radicals for initiating the conflict. I am neither Republican or Democrat I am an American that has more common sense than I have political correctness, and I want to leave a Great Country for my children like my dad left for me. Oh but wait, If I am wrong and the moderate muslims around the world were to not hold the terrorists initiating the attack to blame, then we must ask ourselves, Is there any such thing as a moderate muslim.

    August 3, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. John Ubele, Port Richey, FL

    This is a totally irresponsible statement from a presidential candidate who is the least deserving to be president. VOTE RON PAUL IN 2008!!!

    August 3, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Abe Qutub,Beaverton,Oregon

    Lock the bum up !!

    August 3, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. D Frost, Atlanta, GA

    Tancredo's plan should be "Plan B." Plan A, if we should get attacked again, is to take out Tehran, Damascus, the Sunni Triangle, and Gaza. If that doesn't work, then yes, Mecca and Medina. However, Muslims can institute their own solution. How about the "Worldwide Muslim Counter Terrorism Initiative." Show the world they are going after these extremist cretins on their own. Of course, that won't happen. I think many know that when something happens, the majority of Muslims say "Oh, that's bad, against Allah" and then "silently snicker for their victory." When the next attack occurs, I hope the US Government declares Islam "a political system, not a religion" and destroys every last remnant of their existence in the US. If they want war, let's give it to them, and let's win. Remember, no one mentioned "collateral damage" when we were firebombing Dresden. It's time to do the same to these Muslim extremist scum.

    August 3, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. Dinesh M, Edison NJ

    This is absolute stupidity and stupidity at its best. I believe a representative in congress would be more brainy than this one for sure. I believe, an ordinary man, before taking any action would think of two things: Objectives and Consequences. But here in this case, looks like Tancredo is just day dreaming.

    What is the objective – to end terrorism or to end Muslims? To protect US and World from terrorist or to fuel terrorism? And what do you achieve by demolishing mosques? ZERO! What do you think, these terrorist who live with a bomb in their pocket are religious. May be some are, but a person who can kill others and himself in the name of TERROR, you think s/he would fear for God or would give it up for you are destroying their mosques.

    Wanna talk about consequences? You fool, not just US, the entire world would suffer the burn. Not that I am scared. But you do not combat a tiger or even rabbit blindfolded. You need to see what you need to and take right actions.

    So you better keep quite and see what wise people has to say and do. And yea, tell your friend Bush (looks like you both studied in same school) to join you in keeping quite.

    August 3, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Tom Tom Tommmmm,

    I really LIKED your wanting to uphold our immigration laws and protect our borders. And I loved that you actually showed up at the NAACP debate – even though no one else came...

    But nuking holy sites?? I feel your frustration and empathize with finding ways to strike-back at terrorists. But the holy sites are holy to terrorists and non-terrorists, even to some of your muslim constituents in Colorado.

    I'm afraid you and Obama may have nuked your own campaigns this week.

    August 3, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. Shane, Fort Wayne, IN

    Collective Guilt and Collective Punishment. Nice values, Mr. Tancredo.

    August 3, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Zuzu

    This is one of the most crazy thing i have ever heard in my life. But some of the people comments support him. I am amazed there are some sick people also who think like this crazy man. God help us all.

    August 3, 2007 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. Leeser

    I am stunned and sickened by Tancredo's opinion in this matter. One would hope that his constituency sees what a monster he is and replaces him at their earliest opportunity.

    August 3, 2007 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. mn oakdale

    He should be arrested and charge for attempt to commit murder
    G A

    August 3, 2007 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. Peter, Wauwatosa, WI

    Killing innocent people in response to the killing of innocent people? Brilliant! With strategies like these, it's a mystery why the world hates us.

    August 3, 2007 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. Aline Binette Longueuil Canada

    Lock this guy up!

    August 3, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. Dan

    What a nutjob. He should be voted out ASAP, the LAST thing this country needs is people like him.

    August 3, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. Ben, Houston Texas

    How can the people of Colorado have this person as an elected representative?
    I guess people like C Glenn, Art, Mobile, AL, NP Redwood CIty, CA and Danny in Houston, TX must have some close relatives in Colorado.

    This statement by this elected moron would be the same as saying that if a Catholic perpetrates an attack in Northern Ireland, the English should bomb the Vatican.

    I am glad that we have the choice of not electing this man. Good luck can keep him.

    August 3, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  20. SI Baltimore, MD

    Is this guy a moron? I am a muslim who was born here in the United States and I am appalled by this man's comments to " bomb Islamic Holy sites". This comment alone serves as fuel for the extremist Muslim beliefs that the United States in the devil. I am a Sunni who supports my country 100% but this man is crazy to say what he said and should apologize publicly. He is being a racist with that comment, lumping all muslims into that 5% of extremists who are wrong in their interpretations of the Koran. So you bomb a holy sight and you know what happens? Muslims will start to side witht he extremists out of anger for the desecration of a holy site. Just look at teh uproar that comic started and the torture of the prisoners at that camp. Tancredo is a man without a brain and he makes me feel bad for being a republican...

    August 3, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  21. Eric, Pittsburgh, PA

    If our homeland were attacked again, with a "dirty bomb" or something equally as horrific, then I think the first step toward protection is to strike back at what our enemy holds closest to their hearts. It'd be a shame if it came to that. But it's nice to know that there's someone out there not affraid to voice that opinion. Even if he is... crazy.

    August 3, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  22. Anonymous, Richmond VA

    Proof that you can't fix stupid.

    August 3, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  23. Greg Topeka ks

    I absolutely agree with everything he said. We've got to do something. As bad as Hiroshima and Nogasaki were, maybe we need to repeat some history. People in the middle east are obviously crazy, and haven't been pursuaded thus far. We've tried to help them and it hasn't worked. And if they're going to keep killing themselves and attacking our country then we might as well send them a message they can understand.

    August 3, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. Roger, NYC, NY

    Would Osama Bin Laden have launched 9/11 if he knew Islam's holy sites would be blasted into oblivion ??

    I think not.

    Tancredo has a valid point, and remember he is talking about DETERRENCE, exactly as prevailed during the Cold War with Communism.

    August 3, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. John, Raleigh, NC

    I can understand why some people feel like this. Feeling powerless against an invisible enemy is very frustrating. As others have mentioned it wouldn't work because the terrorists would just look for more reprehensible forms of revenge.

    Becoming completely energy independent would be a better approach because then we could safely withdraw from the Middle East. What is it really that the terrorists want?

    1) Infidels off of all Muslim lands. We are only there to insure the flow of oil.

    2) To have their chosen way of life respected and not interfered with; be it the strict interpretation of the Taliban or that of more moderate muslims.

    If we could make peace with Iran that would go a long ways towards stabilizing the Middle East. I think the West should let Iran develop Nuclear Weapons, they are going to eventually anyway. We should also approach the Iranians with strategies to help them transition from an Oil- based economy to a more sustainable diverse economic base (they must be worried about what there fate will be when the oil run out).

    Lets try to be nice and friendly and maybe, possible are enemies will become our friends.

    August 3, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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