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. Gina, Chicago IL

    Impeach this Racist Moron. He's a good-for-nothing nincompoop!

    August 5, 2007 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  2. Chris Galipo

    Osama or Alqaida, a terrorist and a terrorist organisation, do not represent Islamic World.

    Mr. Tancredo, unfortunately represent American people but hopefully not for long.

    There are only a bunch of Islamic exteremist we are dealing with now. Comments like Mr. Tancredo's is only going to increase their numbers.

    Nuts like him must never be allowed to come out of the case.

    August 5, 2007 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  3. Steve


    That looks more like an incentive.

    August 5, 2007 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  4. vb, Des Moines, Iowa

    To all who consider Tancredo insane, stupid, criminal, etc.: If US would be attacked with nukes by Islamic terrorists, what the US should do?

    Any intelligent suggestions? That is what Tancredo is asking.

    August 5, 2007 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  5. An American Citizen, CO

    Hey tom, congrats you just got the vote of every american citizen who did not graduate from junior high and those who have never traveled outside their small hometown of about 50 people. Take a vacation, go out and visit foreign lands and foreigners. have some soft tacos or a gyro. and take your meds because any more statements like that and its back to the looney bin.

    August 5, 2007 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  6. Michael, Nashville, TN

    This is the single most Hitler-like statement I have ever heard coming from Washington.

    Even the Israelis, who have far worse problems than we do, wouldn't consider this option.

    August 5, 2007 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  7. Jim, Clarksburg, MD

    This comment just surpassed President Bush's "Bring It On" statement that invited terrorists to take their jihad vacations in luxurious Iraq. Its outrageous statements like these that is like candy to the criminally insane.

    August 5, 2007 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  8. Mushtaq Ahmed

    Assalm ao Alykum
    I am so glad that he made such a comment and the Great American Nation has express thier feelings and call him Insane and a great Nut Job and all other kind of titles after reading the comment from the people this Nation has made me more proud then ever thier comments and the reaction to this stupid shows the Greatness of this Nation and also shows to the world and to the people among them selves that our Politician do not represent our true feelings trust me people, We as an American Muslims will defend our Country as much as an any other country man and will sacrifice anything that this country will ask for it and they are so many of us against so little of Nut job Muslims who do not represent all Muslims in the world or this country's Muslims this is a promise from an Patriot MUSLIM American Soldier, May Allah bless this Country, and this Nation and protect us from all the enimies and our own Politicians.

    August 5, 2007 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  9. Todd, Kingsport, Tennessee

    Tom, Let's please just withdraw from the middle east. We can take large amounts of money and drop that instead. And, we'll just leave a note saying 'we're sorry, but please just leave us alone- we've got dinner plans this weekend'.

    August 5, 2007 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  10. mark

    What a great idea!

    August 5, 2007 04:03 am at 4:03 am |
  11. SNABER Rockford,Il

    The first thing we should have done after 9/11 is make Iraq into a glass parking lot for the middle east...

    August 5, 2007 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  12. Ebenezer Akrong (out of state)

    I support the congressman for his words. we in the western world or to precise Christians are being treghtened by muslims with their violence and thus we are being squeezed by our Govt. who do not or feels dont want conforntation with the Islamic countries but words like this will make even saudi arabia to think of the same pain that their religion and people are causing to them also. Thanks for your bold stand

    August 5, 2007 04:21 am at 4:21 am |
  13. Rush Qandour/Joondalup.WA

    Fundamental Islam is against all Muslims and humanity at large . Islam has to deal with thier islamic problems with the help and understanding of the West;excluding Mr.Tancredo help.

    August 5, 2007 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  14. Al Hazen, San Antonio, TX

    So let's get this straight.

    If we invade Iran then the Vatican gets nuked in retaliation? If N. Korea gets uppity we just nuke some Buddhist holy sites and call it a day.

    Vote for Trancredo – or we'll burn your church down.

    August 5, 2007 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  15. naurah,lahore,pakistan

    tom tancredo and osama bin laden can be best friends if given a chance.see both of them get a twisted kind of pleasure out of destruction and violence and both of them are full of nonsense!

    August 5, 2007 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  16. Roy

    Whos side is the State Department on anyway?

    August 5, 2007 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  17. Al-Radhi , Sameer

    I belive that A graet country like America , with it's " in God we trust"
    Will never think of doing that . This graet country has great respict to all religions , espically Islam . I think this guy is traying to increase the hatered of the Muslims against America , he likes to see a rael ware between the muslims and the Americans. That will never happen because we respict America and trust the wisdom of it's people .

    August 5, 2007 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  18. Omar, Alberta

    This is the most ill-regarded statement ever made. If you use the N-word on tv you get fines, fired, and ostracized from society but yet stating that the US military should blow up the 2 most important religious sites for almost 1.5 billion people is perfectly fine. All of you who agree with Mr. T's statement have no idea about the world around and still beleive that Iraq had WMD's. these "Islamic Extremists" represent at most 5% of Muslims...furthermore only about 13% of Muslims worldwide are actually Arab..the rest come from mainly south east Asia. So you want to take the moderate 95% and do the one thing that will turn them all against is that smart. Not only will all of the Muslim world turn against the United States but other nations, Russia, China, The Koreas, Britain, Canada..and almost all other nations will definitely will also not agree with this...America will be a lone duck yet again, a black eye of society. What those of you who agree with this statement fail to understand is that if you give the extremists reason and purpose to attack you they will never stop.

    As a Muslim person I am completly against terrorism, it goes against everything in the Koran...Jihad appears in the Koran 24 times, and only 4 of those can be interpreted as a holy way against society, the other 20 refer to an inner Jihad as muslim has within himself(his willingness to be muslim and to follow the beleifs and teachings). Suicide does not gaurantee Paradise, instead it is the most certain way to go to hell. And as for those 72 virgins thats not true either...I looked into it!

    We need to fix the problems, we need to give Iraq back to the Iraqis, and America needs to return itself to the quasi-neutral mediator of middle east peace that it once was. Islamaphobia has to stop, but calling all of us terrorists its disheartening since most of us are on your side in this fight?

    August 5, 2007 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  19. David, Pittsburgh, PA

    That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Attacking the holiest muslim sites in Saudi Arabia will cause a World War and there will be absolute chaos. This man is a threat to world peace and making comments like that can be dangerous within the U.S itself.

    August 5, 2007 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  20. Joseph Thinn, Santa Ana, California

    This is not news:We used this same strategy in WWII
    Tom is simply re-using a winning strategy from long ago. Put our enemies on notice that their actions will result in the complete and utter destruction of the one item they venerate. If those here are so critical of Tom for repeating a winning strategy, then what do you say about WWII, hmmmmmmmm? Would you say that FDR and Harry Truman were also 'crazy in the way they prosecuted the war in the 1940's against Fascism?
    I thought not.....
    Everyone loves enjoying the fruits of being a free people but nobody wants to be a part of the ugly, violent work that it takes to secure those freedoms.

    August 5, 2007 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  21. Leo Whittier, CA

    Almost as insane as his attacks on illegal immigrants. Maybe we should just bomb Mexico, China, and all of Eastern Europe? That will take care of the illegal immigrant problem. You mean there's a district that actually elects this fool?

    August 5, 2007 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  22. Nazry, Singapore, Singapore

    what? he hopes to be the US president?
    with that kind "ideas", the word 'hopeful' is an overstatement.

    August 5, 2007 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  23. Chris, Orlando, Florida

    We have to go wherever there are terrorists and kill them and destroy their infrastructure.

    Saudi Arabia is not supporting us and all targets should be in consideration.
    Using Mecca and Medina to motivate others to do the right thing is not that insane to me.

    August 5, 2007 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  24. Douglas Penner, Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Tancredo is an idiot and his comment is completely irresponsible, as is his advisor Bay Buchanan. In my mind, his comment is so irresponsible he should remove himself from the presidential campaign.

    August 5, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  25. Stancel Spencer

    Tancredo is probably the Republican candidate I despise the most. I have often said if you combine the hawkishness of Giuliani, the fundamentalism of the late Jerry Falwell, and the rabid xenophobia of Pat Buchanan, you get a crazy little fascist named Tancredo.

    Recently Tancredo re-iterated what he had very controversially said in 2005: Bomb Mecca. I thought, well not surprising. This man is a right-wing extremist. He has also called China a “growing threat”. Hey America, you thought Bush was bad, meet Tancredo.

    Tancredo’s main issue has been his virulent hatred toward immigrants. It is very clear he is a racist and xenophobe. Why else would be willingly attend and address a League of the South meeting, singing “Dixie” in front of portraits of Robert E. Lee and Confederate flags? The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization which tracks and fights against racist, xenophobic and homophobic groups and individuals, called the League of the South a “hate group” in reference to Tancredo addressing the group.

    Or who could forget the time he referred to Miami as a "third world country". Tancredo insulting an American city. And he wants to President of this country.

    An official at the State Department called his comments “absolutely crazy”. They are. As much as I dislike our alliance with Saudi Arabia, they are our ally, and to bomb Mecca and Medina, would be an attack on them, a provocation of war. Could a Tancredo administration really afford to fight so many wars at once? Supposedly, if Islamic terrorists attack us, we should bomb Muslim holy sites, because it would send a “message”. Yes, it would send a message. That message would be: time to destroy the United States of America.

    What he’s basically saying is that it is reasonable to hold an entire religion guilty for the actions of terrorists. This will only make America more of a target for terrorists. Has Tancredo addressed Christian-based terrorism? That of Eric Rudolph and others who have attacked abortion clinics and gay nightclubs? Of course not. He would never suggest that in response to Christian terrorists we should bomb Christian holy sites. Hell, for all we know, Tancredo might privately sympathize with those Christian terrorists.

    An attack on Mecca and Medina would mean the ultimate global descension into chaos. Let’s hope Tancredo doesn’t become President.

    August 5, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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