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. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Mecca and Medina are cities within Saudia Arabia, the same country of birth of 15 of the 19 9-11 hijackers. Ally or not where there's smoke there's fire. You can't solve a problem if you ignore the source of the problem.

    August 4, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Dex Alexandria, VA

    Sorry everyone im not suprised at all. Little Tommy just said what many of them are thinking and saying to their buddies. He's a conservative. So is Bin Laden. This is a conservative mind set. The party of hate. I don't think the KKK is liberal. I guarantee they would agree with little Tommy. They are conservative. I don't think terrorist are liberal, they hate change. They are conservative. This is the mindset. If you don't believe watch the comments of those who consider themselves conservative. They will prove me right.

    August 4, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. R.F., Austin, Texas

    Small pockets of fanatical muslims use questionable interpretations of hadith to justify terrorism. Attack Mecca and unite the entire Muslim world against the attackers. No questionable interpretations. The Quran is clear.

    August 4, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    OK. Why don't you go ahead and do it????????? I think you imagine it's very easy.!!!

    August 4, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. Steve - Lowell, MA

    I ABSOLUTELY agree with Rep. Tancredo's assertion that bombing Mecca and Medina would be an effective, acceptable deterrent towards Islamic Radicals and their twisted beliefs. I'd consider my political views to be that of a slightly left-leaning centrist (mainly due to my intolerance for religious fanatacism and the seemingly infinite number of contradictions inherent to it), but my rational side tells me that fighting fire with fire is the only way to stop these animals from causing further damage to our country. Thankfully, I'm honest enough with myself to admit that I could not care less about the plight and struggle of Muslims.

    August 4, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. Marc W. Los Angeles CA

    I am not a person that advocates war. But his idea has merit. We MUST find a way to deter another attack. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.

    August 4, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. Jon, Cleveland, OH

    "Terrorists" would be thrilled if we bombed a holy site. It would almost instantly achieve their goal of rallying the entire Muslim world against us.

    August 4, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  8. cliff jones, honolulu hi

    Alas, when they show their true selfs intentions.

    August 4, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Scott, Washington DC

    Yeah, that sure worked on us. They bombed a major city and we didn't respond at all. Nope. No outrage at all. We pulled all our troops out of the middle east. Brilliant deterrant. Next thing you know, he'll suggest putting out a fire with gasoline.

    August 4, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Hal, Phoenix,az

    Re Steve NY "As a Christian, Mr. Tancredo’s comments are absurd and disgraceful."

    Actually as Christian statements they seem perfectly in keeping with the treatment meted out to those who make distinctions between whose side the "invisible men" are on.

    August 4, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. Gomer Byle

    Oh, stop whining. Bombing mecca and medina can't make muslims more angry at USA, they are already operating at full maximum hate. It can only make them fear us. Thats the point of a deterrent. Duh

    August 4, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. wethepeople

    what a crazy loon.

    August 4, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. Martin, Tucson, AZ

    Absolutely brilliant idea!! I think it's terrific that someone is FINALLY thinking outside the box of political correctness.

    August 4, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. K. Hall, Des Moines, Iowa

    Actually I think it is a good idea. If
    THEY are willing to "blow America all to hell" (ally or no ally they are all
    ARABS), then perhaps THEY will see that
    WE mean business and not just playing around anymore. TOO many AMERICAN lives
    have been lostto all of those JERKS! I say "hit them where it hurts"! And that
    seems to be their "RADICAL RELIGIOUS" idea is to FORCE ALL OF THE WORLD TO BE

    August 4, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  15. Ellton James, Cork Creek, NY

    We should drop leaflets ant tell them that we are going to nuke the sites, Then nuke them.

    The non crazies would leave ...

    After a couple of hundred years of having nothing to orbit around the whole religion would disappear. Nobody would miss it.

    August 4, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. Anonymous, Los Angeles, CA

    Hey Tom, you could drop a million nukes on mecca and medina. When the dust clears i will still go for hajj.

    August 4, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. T.S., Stockton, CA

    What an ignorant fool.

    August 4, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. Mike

    How did he get elected in first place.

    August 4, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. J.O. Watertown NY

    i didnt think there could be anyone worse than bush...

    good thing the GOP has no chance in 08 or we would be in some serious trouble!

    August 4, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Hit Mecca! this shows how desperate are some people to get elected Tincredo is just one of them

    August 4, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. Brook Gibbs, Fayetteville AR

    Absolutely Crazy is exactly right! Someone remove him form office before we start the freakin' Apocolypse!

    August 4, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Richard Gannon, Oakland, CA

    Tancredo is right on target. We only invite attack when we do not retaliate. It encourages these Muslim maniacs when they get away with their missions of destruction without suffering any punishment. This administration has been inept at punishing these Muslim terrorists. We should have bombed Pakistan into a parking lot years ago for harboring this Bin Laden and his legions of brutality. Tancredo and Hunter are the only two candidates that have shown they have the courage to lead a nation.

    August 4, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. John, Berkeley, CA

    This man is a sick, twisted retard in a business suit. Lots of them. Idiots who never developed the ability to actually think about what they observe. I wouldn't be surprised if this idiot watches cartoons, or the adult equivalent. He's what the term "reactionary" best describes. The clown finds it impossible to figure out that bombing any religion's holy sites doesn't deter them, it makes them angrier. The idiot doesn't seem to realize that there are plenty of Muslims worldwide who would react. This jerk is a perfect example of the "feel-good", pain-oriented, simplistic approach to handling problems–he has no ability to think beyond one or two steps, no ability to extrapolate consequences.

    August 4, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. kassem khalil, San Diego, CA

    MR. Tancreso, show ignorence about islam. Islam is relation between the self( moslim beleiver) and his God, and this has nothing to do Mecca and Madena. He Should know that before the end of life ( day of jugments), God told the moslims that Macca will be destroyed and Isalm will stil excist for enternity.

    August 4, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. Michael Tweedy, Mesa, AZ

    Why Not????? Are they willing to attack us? Yes. Hit them where it hurts. I am reminded of the 1969 bombing of Hanoi. If we had kept it up 1 more week, Hanoi would have capitulated. They use their religion as a tool against us, and everyday American boys are dying to stop them. I think you will find that a lot of Americans agree with Tancredo. Its a new world and we need to protect ourselves in ANY way we can.

    August 4, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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