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. Teh pwnerer

    Do you people understand what he's saying? You're acting as if he would bomb Mecca and Medina without prompt. He's saying that THREATENING to destroy those holy cities as a result of a NUCLEAR ATTACK would act as a deterrent... and it 100% would. Are you liberals really this stupid?

    August 4, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  2. Jon Davidson

    Here is a politician that does not understand the difference between a Muslim, a christian, a skin head, or a radical terrorist. These are the politicians that I fear the most. For they are the ones that feed terrorism. I hope all of you out there will read this, take heed, and vote accordingly. This man is insane to have these thoughts.

    August 4, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  3. Terry Reed, Mellingen Switzerland

    Well, it seems there is really someone out there worse than Bush. This comment was pure suicide for his political career. This type of reaction would give a better cause for these terrorists. I really don't think this politician has a grasp on what a terrorist is. They are NOT real Muslims, they only use the name. With remarks like this, I am actually ashamed to be an American. Thanks!!!!

    August 4, 2007 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. John Toronto, Canada

    Well, the muslim terrorists bombed innocent civilians on 9/11 for no reason. I don't see why anything would deter them.

    August 4, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. Khalid - Minneapolis, MN

    I'll pretend for a few moments your comments are not a publicity stunt to get your name on the radar screen (Tanc-who?) and share a couple thoughts for the sake of discourse.

    Congratulations sir, you have fallen into the precise trap that Al-Qaeda has set for you. Your proposed solution will not only fail, but have the exact opposite consequence it was intended for. This idea will not deter, but rather re-enforce the cause of Al-Qaeda. It will become a rallying cry for millions. If anything at all, it will cause the millions of peaceful, moderate Muslims in this world and in our country to unite against us. A terrorist group like Al-Qaeda is scary and should be eliminated, but hundreds of millions united against the U.S. is an unconscionable idea that I'd rather not think about. I can't help but to pity you, and truly do feel embarrassed for you – if only this wasn't a publicity stunt that is. Good day, sir.

    August 4, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. Siera, Arvada colorado

    Finally somebody who wants to level the playing field.
    Political correctness only serves to repress people, Mr. Tancredo seems to know fighting a war in PC terms is ideotic and foolish.
    Do not forget, they atacked women and children and will again.

    August 4, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. Jeff, Andrews, NC

    People, please keep in mind that he's suggesting the THREAT of this as a DETERRENT to another terrorist attack. This is only snippet-quotes of what he said, my money is on him saying this about a NUCLEAR attack in the U.S., like he did in 2005. He wasn't suggesting this for just any terrorist attack. I will agree it is an extreme idea, and if it ever happened it would be the "point of no return" with the muslim world. For everyone that thinks he's a total idiot, what would your opinion be if a nuke went off in the U.S. killing possibility hundreds of thousands of people, or more? What would YOU do after that happened? I personally would be OK with nuking most of the middle east if this ever happened. And he said he's open to suggestions, so what would YOU do? Instead of calling him an idiot, why not propose solutions to a potential problem?

    August 4, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. Richard - Duluth, GA

    Bay Buchanan is his Senior Advisor so this warped policy shouldn't surprise anyone. She's a bit coo-coo & he must have some Bush blood in is family. What a pair!

    August 4, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. Andi, AZ

    "You can the world to pieces, but you can't it into peace,"

    Michael Frante and Spearhead

    August 4, 2007 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. Richard Wright, Boston, MA

    Tom Tancredo is perfectly correct. This would be the equivalent of the MAD policy (mutual assured destruction) that effectively kept the cold war from becoming hot.

    August 4, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  11. Tom Sutter, Sault Ste Marie, Michigan

    This is truly an asinine idea. I don't think the word "deterrent" can be used to describe this action. A more appropriate term would be "provocation". What do you expect will happen by doing something as stupid as bombing Mecca or other important muslim holy sites? You'll be creating more terrorists and widening a conflict that does not have to be. The candidates need to remember that only a very, very small number of the world's 1.3 billion muslims want to do harm to the U.S. and the West. I think a better idea would be to find common ground with muslims and enlist them to help fight a minority of extremists.

    Tancredo's suggestion is simply stupid and shameful and should not be considered to be serious. It is sheer lunacy.

    Wake up America. Our country is burning and the arsonists are in charge of the fire department!

    August 4, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  12. Sam Shakeel Dallas,Texas

    This is same king of extremism's we talk about when people blow them self. Look like Tom Tancredo is no different than these people he wants to kill thousand of people just for the sake of bombing Muslims.I am glad he will not be elected President.

    August 4, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  13. Ethan Russo, Vashon Island, WA

    This warrants his instant impeachment or recall for his jingoist racist ignorant incitement to further bloodshed.

    August 4, 2007 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  14. Colin, New Jersey

    Mmm, This guy is a complete and utter moron. That's all I have to say.

    August 4, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  15. Jack, Huntington, WV

    To think that even threatening to attack the two most holiest sites of 1.5 billion people would deter ANYTHING is naive, ignorant, and just plain crazy. This man shouldn't work at McDonald's much less hold political office where he makes decisions that affect people. What a loser. He doesn't speak for any real American with brains.

    August 4, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  16. Aziz, New Orleans Louisiana

    From an American Muslim Thank you for all the comments that counter this rediculous ideology. It gives me hope to know that you all are not against us to this degree anyway...

    August 4, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. Azmus

    What a stupid man! Now i do belive that Bush is not an accident, because America full of such stupids, and americans are electing such stupids than how crazy they must be?. He is insane thinking that by evil deeds they can stop evil!
    DEVIL: Ha, Ha, Ha!!! keep it coming, Dude!

    August 4, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  18. Mike, Dallas, Texas

    If we were hit with nukes by terrorist where would we retaliate?

    During the Cold War we had an answer. The Soviet Union.

    But now it's like World Wide Guerilla Warfare. Some countries pose as friends during the day, and enemy at night.
    Most of the foreign fighters are from Saudi Arabia.

    Well if anything he has people thinking. How would the US respond?

    August 4, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  19. Nik, Philadelphia, PA

    You know how you stop terrorism on US soil? You stop letting people into this country. Of course that means the end of free trade and international commerce...

    August 4, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  20. XYZ

    He's got an EMPTY brain! Waste of US taxpyers' money on this stupid guy!

    August 4, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  21. Liz (Killeen, TX)

    Sure...we can go ahead and bomb Mecca and Medina...but I'm sure that if we do that, we're looking at WW III. What people like him fail to realize that it is not a problem with Muslims, it is a problem with a radical religious faction of that religion. Not all Muslims are like this. If all of the Middle East were Catholics, would we set out to burn every Catholic church in the US or even destroy the Vatican? Would we blame the Pope for everything? Probably, but how could we if it's out of his own hands? It's not his doing, it's someone else's who uses religion as a means of causing and creating havoc.

    Where is this guy's email...I want to tell him how stupid he is myself. This is such a childish and unprofessional decision...and to think...someone actually elected this guy into office? Next thing you know, these terrorist will think of innovative and never before thought of ways to get rid of what means the most to us. Yeah...real smart Tancredo...real smart...

    August 4, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  22. Mike, St. Louis, MO

    His comments are dead-on. We listen to threats daily from Muslim extremists threating our way of life and it makes me sick. The US Government is so damn worried about fighting a 'politically correct' war so the world does not see us as 'barbaric' that it's preventing us from making any real progress. What a joke. Look at where it has gotten us in Iraq. Ask the US soldiers what they think about being politically correct vs winning a war any way possible. I'd like to know the opinions of those same people who say his comments are reprehensible if there own families were killed by these extremists. People need to realize that an attack is coming, it's only a question of when. There are already counter-measure plans drawn up also, but most people are either so arrogant or blind that they just don't see it coming.

    August 4, 2007 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  23. Tom Quincy, Mass

    As usual you liberals are hammering a statement from someone who is not for simply dropping bombs for the bleep of it, but if we are attacked AGAIN.

    Read slower to understand his words.

    Now that you can see this is a response to the next attack (sorry Alice and wonderland believers, there will be another one), if he is so wrong about what we should do, please enlighten us on what the right way to respond would be?

    One of you pacifistic geniuses instead of saying wrong, wrong, wrong, must have a solution?

    We wait for your guidance and more enlightened approach.

    August 4, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. Zach, Tennessee

    I do not know whether or not Tom Tancredo knows anything about politics. If a crazy catholic man or men were to attack the country would he bomb Rome? Does he not know that muslims number over a billion? If he were to attack holy sites, he would incite a real holy war. This war would have very little support because he would be attacking what is dear to a sizable part of the world. What he or any leader should do durning an attack, is attack the threat. For instance, when our enemy was in Afganastan we should have continued the attack in afganastan and not opened up a new front in Iraq. Just the same, if an attack were to come we should find the source and not blindly attack muslim holy sites like a bunch of Nazi punks. If this poor excuse of a presidental canadate wins, I only pray that he does not go through with his short sighted, poorly thoughtout plan.

    August 4, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  25. Andres Guzman, Cooper CIty, FL

    So let me get this straight. According to him, if we bomb sacred Muslim sites, the Islamic fundamentalists would say "Oh wow I didn't know you would retaliate. I give up because that sure taught me a lesson". Is this guy snorting cocaine? I'm pretty sure the Islamic fundamentalists would have one more reason to hate us. What a moron.

    August 4, 2007 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
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