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. Annie, South East Asia

    I am a Muslim and i must admit that i was quite perturbed by the comments made by that man. I have never approved of terrorism when it comes to killing innocent people for the sins of a few idiots. I am however sure, like many others who have echoed here rightly, that if you are to bomb Mecca and Medinah, the moderate Muslim in me will never accept that. And if Saudi government were to ask for help, trust me, the whole Muslim world will come to help as you did not bomb the Saudis ... you bomb a MUSLIM's holy land, and that cannot be acceptable by any standards. I am not sure whether Tancredo KNOWS exactly how many Muslims there are in this world, but please tell him, more than 80% of Indonesia, 15% of China, 98% of Brunei, and many Asian countries, as well as people within Europe AND US, will not be pleased with him. If he has the 'guts' like what some of you are glorifying him with, that i guess what he DO NOT have is BRAINS ... cos obviously his maths is terrible enough for him to forget that his words will affect manay innocent lives, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Such irresponsible words cause so much damage, and I fear that if this story goes around, the damage might have started already. I feel so sorry for AMericans to have such a leader. I thought Bush was a mistake, but this man is the cream of it all ... sigh

    August 3, 2007 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  2. Mike, Coarsegold, Cal

    Works for me.

    August 3, 2007 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  3. Richard Perkins, Placentia california

    Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo is absolutly correct!!! Are we supposed to just sit back and let extremist do whatever they please to Americans. I say NO!!! Smart bomb a couple of Muslim holy places and then let the extremists explain to the rest of the Muslim world how it came to that. It's time for the Muslims who say they are not w/terrosits to help out an put an end to religous insanity!!!!

    August 3, 2007 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  4. Tau, Edwards AFB, CA

    Sadly, there are some people in the military (I'm a Muslim in the military by the way) who think the same way this crazy person does. These kind of guys don't realize the kinds of contributions and sacrifices Muslims make for this country.

    August 3, 2007 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  5. Siti, Singapore

    This guy I think goes to college but never graduate or worse maybe he just forged his certificates. GOD!!

    If any voters vote for him, lets welcome world destruction.

    August 3, 2007 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  6. David, New York, NY

    Finally, a politician we can vote for! Glad to see someone has taken off their rose-colored glasses and sees the world for what it is and not that fairy tale liberal perspective.

    August 3, 2007 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  7. BevD,OKC,OK

    I will vote for this man if I have a chance. I am tired of trying to reason with insane terrorists who want to do nothing but kill Americans.
    The terrorists and everybody else had better realize there is a growing majority of American people who are going to pick up a really big club someday..and it will swing a wide path.

    August 3, 2007 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  8. RK, Montebello, CA

    spare me all the politically correct comments w/sensitivity towards Muslims...Muslims in Saudi Arabia would not think twice about bringing down the White House...Tancredo is making a great suggestion.

    August 3, 2007 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  9. Ahmed Sallam, Galloway NJ

    first of all all this talk will creat hate towards america and serves only that purpose. this kind of comments will make those with sick and upside down minds do soething crazy. i am sure that this guy is an idiot and i guess he does not even know what he is talking about.
    now as a muslim all i have to say to him is these holy sites you are talking about we do not protect them but god does that and read the history about many many kings and leaders of the past time tried to do what you suggest and they got destroyed. finally i pray for you that god forgive you and give you guidance to the right track.

    August 3, 2007 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  10. Sal Pietromonaco, Eugene, OR

    He demonstrated with such elan just how ignorant and uneducated some politicians can be. I guess he just got his 15 min. Say goodbye to Tancredo.

    August 3, 2007 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  11. aazar, vancouver, bc

    well, americans think their lives are somewhat more holier than those who get killed everyday in Afghnaistan and Iraq. Nobody finds out which innocent person dies under the veil of a terrorist. A stupid man, incapable of uttering a single coherent sentence, runs this country, and then even bigger morons come forward to ignite more hate and aggression. I simply find it what makes american so child like idiots. Hate is embedded in us, I think, but making such irresponsible statements would only bring danger, even when it was not imminent. He needs to know what Mecca and Madina means to muslims, who are not part of terror. If they ever think of doing anything like this, america will be wiped out by those who were not terrorist before. If I had any doubt beofe that americans in general were morons, I have none now.

    August 3, 2007 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    WHAT A BRILLIANT IDEA! Just bomb Mecca and Medina and hope all the Muslims in the world will shut up. Ok now for those of us who live in REALITY, if a cartoon caricature of the prophet set such a global commotion and outcry then bombing the 2 holiest sites in all of Islam will effectively mark the end of the world....its just that brilliant of an idea! Way-to-go! you have successfully managed to be the dumbest politician of our times.

    August 3, 2007 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  13. John Jakobsen, Houston, TX

    I'm sure he was kidding.

    August 3, 2007 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  14. Anon

    This guy has same for brains as Bush.

    August 3, 2007 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  15. Jake,New York, New York

    this is exactly the kind of person we don't need as president of the United States!

    August 3, 2007 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  16. Max Mickey, Santa Barbara , CA

    Our state department invites terrorist to strike us anywhere they want by protecting the targets the terrorists hold sacred. rediculous

    August 3, 2007 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  17. Tim Howard; Houston, Texas

    Nice job; he's suggesting just one more terrorist attack and western civilization will fall. That should act as quite a deterrent....what an idiot.

    August 3, 2007 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  18. Daniel E.Levenson, Cambridge, MA

    Tancredo's statements reflect an appalling level of ignorance on matters of foreign policy and national security. He is of course allowed to say whatever he likes, but taunting our enemies with these kind of threats only serves to feed the extremist propaganda machine, and seems rather self-defeating given his stated goal of protecting the United States. Furthermore, the idea of destroying the holiest site of any religion in retaliation for the evil actions of a minority group within that religion seems sadly absurd.

    August 3, 2007 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  19. Chris, Michigan

    Say and think what you want – you bleeding heart liberals. But fact is – the policy of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) prevented World War III with the Russians. Extremists only understand one thing – and I see nothing wrong with making them understand the meaning of MAD. If you take us out, you also kill yourself – plan and simple – and it needs no translation.

    August 3, 2007 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  20. Chad Taylor, New York, New York

    Tancredo is an idiot and his ignorance is dangerous. His idea of attacking Muslim holy sites when "Islamic extremists" attack the U.S. is tantamount to suggesting that when fundamentalist "Christian extremists" shoot abortion doctors, we should attack the Vatican. Terrorists break the commands and spirit of the Quran and are NOT representative of Islam, just like right-wing American Christians have nothing to do with hallowed Christian sites like St. Peter's, Canterbury, Santiago de Campostella and Bethlehem.

    Not to mention the Geneva Convention. I\Of course, when were modern U.S. Republicans concerned with upholding the Geneva Convention?

    August 3, 2007 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Great idea! Might deter these fanatics from attacking our "holy" sites...

    Hate to think this way, but what other options are there with these irrational egoists?

    August 3, 2007 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  22. Sherri Mundy Independence, KY 41051

    What is so crazy about retaliating against terrorists, by hitting them the way they have, and continue to strive to do to us? The only point we've gotten across to these terrorists, is that we are playing a game of "you destroy, and we try to predict the next attack.' Attacks which obviously aren't hitting close to home! Something more has to be done. They target our national monuments, so should we.

    August 3, 2007 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    I applaud his bravery and common sense. ISLAM has been the enemy for 1000 years.

    August 3, 2007 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  24. Mort Z, Fort Walton, FL

    Absolutely! Well why not? They are spying on US Citizens so which is more outrageous? Is "Shock and Awe" kinder and gentler than this?

    Undoubtedly this is the correct answer, just as they assisted the Taliban in obliterated the largest Buddhist statues in the world just prior to 9/11.

    August 3, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  25. Steven NY, New York

    I LOVE this idea. I don't like the thought of actually bombing these locations, but one of the reasons the war on Islamic Jihadists (my words) is so difficult to wage is that they have no specific country. This give us a location to say "hurt us, we hurt you."

    August 3, 2007 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
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