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. David, Lakewood CO

    Tancredo represents the district just south of where I live in Colorado. I can tell you for sure, he doesn't realize he's no different than the Taliban in Afghanistan. It's a shame this country has become what it is now.

    August 3, 2007 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  2. Juan Martin, Allentown, PA

    Is people like this mentally retarded congressman that gives the USA a bad name, please do not reelect this guy for anything. How can you bomb a holy place, this is the kind of racial profiling that we do not need. Mr. Tancredo you are disgrace!

    August 3, 2007 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  3. Dylan Rivis

    Just proves that this is part a religious war anyway.How do crazies like this get into positions of influence. Drum him out now !!

    August 3, 2007 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  4. Dylan Frusciano, Louisville, CO

    I would definitely say punishing the other peaceful 99% of the Muslim population by bombing their holy sites is a solid move to win friends in the "war on terror". Living in Colorado, Tancredo has actually become a joke. I actually enjoy listening to him, as well as reading his comments, b/c it allows me to get a solid laugh out of my day once in a while.

    August 3, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  5. Adnan Arif, Chicago, Illinois

    It is disgusting and outrageous that someone would suggest something like this.

    As it is, the US govt does not realize that if you add more fuel to a fire, it only gets bigger. Violence always leads to more violence, not less.

    You only have to see the history of the middle east in the last 50 yrs, specially after the end of the 2nd world war to realize why we are in this state and this ideological battle today. No one and no religion or country is free of blood on their hands, wether christian, muslim or jewish. And its not about religion, its about politics and land that keeps these wars perpetuating.

    AS it is, these extremists who destroy the name of our religion Islam are a fringe minority compared to the millions of Muslims worldwide.

    Beware if you try to catch a monster, you may end up becoming one in the process. This battle against terrorism, in the end, will not be one by guns and bombs and spilt blood; It will be one by a paradigm shift in cultural mentality that will take decades and an end to war-mongering and arms perpetuation

    August 3, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  6. John P. from Chicago, IL

    I can not believe people actually voted for this lunatic Tancredo. Shame on the people of Colorado.

    August 3, 2007 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  7. Edward, Los Angeles, California

    Regardless, one must give him credit for exercising his First Amendment right without fear of repurcussion of being labeled a racist, bigot, being politically incorrect, etc., etc., etc.

    August 3, 2007 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  8. John Butterfield Torrance,CA

    Well Mr Tom Casey, I would have to agree with Mr Tancredo on this one and I am pretty sure most Americans would probably agree also.

    August 3, 2007 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  9. John, Spring Lake, NJ

    Listen people,..this may seem a radical idea to you but just how do you think we detered the Soviets and Red Chinese from launching a first strike on Washington DC, New York and the major cities of Western Europe during the Cold War ? It was done through a policy know as MAD – Mutual Assured Destruction,....the Soviet knew that if they destroyed our cities and people with Nukes that we could and would do the same to them. Brinksmanship for sure, but did you notice that Washington, Moscow, Beijing, London,..ect are all still here.

    All of you Democratic Liberals need to remember that a Democratic president,a very brave and good man, FDR, was able to recognise the real threat to our world and had the guts to use the horrible destructive power of nukes and thus end World War II.

    The liberals and proponents of appeasement in this day and age are the people who are refered to in the quote,.."Those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are destined to repeat them" -Abraham Lincoln (also Winston Churchill)

    The real question we face here is....will the logic of a gun to your head work with these terrorists who do not play by normal rules.

    August 3, 2007 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  10. Ryan, Dallas TX

    Great! Sounds like a plan!

    Now all the moderate and nonpracticing Muslims will be pissed at us too! Cool!

    August 3, 2007 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  11. reagan redding ca

    I think the real point this guy was trying to make was how do you deter people who are not afraid of killing themselves and taking you with them. If the only card in your hand is the religion card it's the one you will play out of neccesity.

    August 3, 2007 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  12. Joe, Boulder, CO

    The people on here saying Tancredo is crazy, that it would incite Muslims, etc.– they are *cowards*. I for one support the idea, hit 'em where it hurts! I'm ashamed of you wussies who call yourself "Americans".

    August 3, 2007 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  13. Nola Ellington, Dry Prong, Louisiana

    Hey I like the way this man thinks!! We haven't been tough enough on them. I think we need to go ahead and tell them that's what we are going to do if the bombs don't stop in Iraq. Maybe we should give them 15 days to produce Osama or his body or we attack.

    August 3, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  14. Ralph Smith

    Dont bomb just Mecca.
    Bomb Jerusalem, Mecca and Medina.
    Let's be fair.

    August 3, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  15. Dear A

    Tom, quit the me.

    August 3, 2007 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  16. K Conifer Colorado

    Are you serious? What is this cowboy thinking...better yet when will he begin to think? Why don't we just drop the big bomb and kill everyone would everyone be happy then? Unbelieveable is the only word that comes to mind when I hear statement like these.

    August 3, 2007 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  17. Mr. Pink, Aston, PA

    Crazy as it sounds, if this is a deterrant, this is about the best idea I have heard in a long time. I would be sure that these extremist hear loud and clear that this could happen. I think some of you need to get your heads out of the clouds and get with it. IF we are attacked AGAIN, this should be considered. Some of us who don't have our priorities straight, need to grow a set. When someone in your family or someone close to you is killed in the next attack, maybe some of you will change your tune. Every time I see vidoes of the idiots praising 9/11, it infuriates me. If I found any of these wanted in a dark alley, I'd have a field day!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 3, 2007 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  18. val

    You go, girl!
    That's like bombing the Vatican if Italy bugs you!
    Just do it, and start WWII

    August 3, 2007 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  19. Josh Duluth, GA

    All I can say is WOW!! If our choices of President consist of Hilary or this guy, then I would rather amend the constitution to allow Bush to serve a third term. What's the point in electing another moron that will do just as bad.

    August 3, 2007 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  20. Kris, Chicago Illinois

    I'm moving to Canada if this guy gets elected. I won't let my family be hurt because of this stupid man who doesn't understand that not all Muslims are terrorists! How can he say something like that? Is this a joke, a ploy for media attention? Please god protect this country from people like him!

    August 3, 2007 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  21. RaShaun, Atlanta, Georgia

    It's stupid comments like these that are going to fuel world war 3. its innevitable and this stupid politician will probably regret he said that.

    August 3, 2007 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  22. Nathan, Canada

    After the "radical" Muslims explode a nuclear bomb in mainland USA it will be interesting to see how many of these comments about "crazy" will still be feeling the way they do. I am not in favor of bombing Mecca, but if a major "incident" happened in North America (such as a nuclear explosion set off by Islamists) I would be fully in favor of dropping a nice big fat bomb on Mecca. Saudis are our "allies" indeed... where almost ALL the 911 terrorists came from. Funny that!

    August 3, 2007 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  23. Jillian, Portland ME

    Muslims are already attacking America because they see us as a country of sin and unholiness. If we attack their holy shrines, that will prevoke them to start a jihad with us, not scare them into stopping fighting.

    August 3, 2007 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  24. Joel, Tallahasse, Florida

    1) Mecca and Medina are holy cities to more than 1 billion people.

    2) He's proposing creating two nuclear fallout zones within one of our few Middle East allies.

    3) Hitting Mecca and/or Medina doesn't actually impact anyone's ability to engage in terrorist activity.

    4) I cannnot conceive of any one possible way to better galvanize multiple nations against the United States and make it impossible for our current allies to continue to do so.

    Given these, it is hard to understand why Mr. Tancredo believes this even passes into the realm of plausibility. Just when I start to believe that we have plumbed the depths of foolishness, I am saddly surprised again. It is unfortunate that anyone gives Mr. Tancredo and his argument here even one iota of credibility, because neither deserves it.

    August 3, 2007 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  25. pk, worcester ma

    Are you KIDDING me?!? I hope no one is taking this candidate seriously. Why can’t we look into the reasons why people would even consider an attack and what we can do as a society to prevent it from happening, rather than making bullying, negative threats?

    Posted By Katie, Detroit, MI : August 3, 2007 12:57 pm

    you MUST be a liberal. are YOU kidding? these fanatics don't sit down and talk with you, they are out for one make EVERYONE a muslim! if you don't believe or convert, they kill you! is that how YOU want to live? because it's sure not MY america.

    August 3, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
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