Tancredo stands by bombing Mecca comments

American Constitution Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo said on 630 KHOW’s Caplis and Silverman Show Thursday that he still agrees with his previous statements concerning a U.S. retaliatory bombing of Mecca and Medina. He went on to emphasize that he would say the same thing again, but explained he probably would not have a reason to do so as governor of Colorado.

Tancredo, who has passed Republican Dan Maes in the polls after largely usurping the former Tea Party favorite’s support, was trailing Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper in a recent Rasmussen Reports poll, 47-42.

Yet, with talk shows and other media outlets seeing Tancredo’s campaign as surging, some voices have raised concern about the ramifications of a Tancredo win. His detractors point to extreme comments made by the former Republican congressman, including one in which he threatened to blow up Muslim holy sites in retaliation for an attack on U.S. soil.

“Now I know that not everybody thinks they are bad, but I was concerned about a couple of [your statements]. I hadn’t forgotten. But you could be dangerous for Colorado,” host Craig Silverman told Tancredo. “If you say, you get involved with talking about bombing Mecca and Medina, is it possible that there would be a fatwa on Colorado?”

“You guys, remember, the statement that I made, in the context in which it was made, I think is quite defensible. I still do, and I still would say it,” Tancredo replied. “It is just that I would have absolutely no reason to say it as the governor of the state of Colorado. There are a lot of other issues of which I would become involved. So it is kind of goofy to say, ‘What if he said something like that again?’ Well, you know, the fact is that there is a lot of people who, just as you say, are worried about these issues. But if they are not relevant to the state of Colorado, I am probably not going to be talking about it.”

Tancredo made his statements during is 2007 run for president at the Family Table in Osceola, Iowa. During a presentation to a small gathering Tancredo stated:

“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. Because that is the only thing I can think of that might deter somebody from doing what they would otherwise do. But as I say, if I am wrong, fine. … I would be happy to do something else. But you had better find a deterrent or you will find an attack. There is no other way around it. There have got to be negative consequences for the actions they take. That’s the most negative I can think of.”

Tancredo said that while he says “outlandish things,” he has never contributed to anything as far right as Hickenooper has on the left. “I never had any relationship with anything as far right as he has on the left. How come he gets away with that.”

Hickenlooper has been criticized by opponents after it was reported that he helped to establish and provide donations to the Chinkook fund. The 20-year-old fund has provided money to groups such as ACORN and Recreate 68, as well as a number of programs that benefit the homeless, mentally ill, and women.