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CNN Fact Checks Tancredo, Proves He Once Suggested Bombing Mecca

By Faiz Shakir on February 24, 2007 at 8:20 am

"CNN Fact Checks Tancredo, Proves He Once Suggested Bombing Mecca"

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In a recent interview on CNN, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) claimed that it was “absolutely untrue” that he once said we should “take out Mecca in order to send a message.”

After airing Tancredo’s remarks, host Anderson Cooper said, “As always, we care about the facts on 360″ and proceeded to display Tancredo’s statements from an interview he conducted with Pat Campbell in July 2005. A review of the transcript showed Tancredo arguing that if terrorists were to use nuclear weapons in the U.S., we should respond by nuking the Muslim holy city of Mecca. Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/02/tancredomecca.320.240.flv]

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Transcript:

GUEST: Congressman Tancredo is the same man who a few years ago said that we should consider taking out Mecca in order to send a message to the terrorists.

TANCREDO: Whoa — that is absolutely —

GUEST: This gentleman is not the man to be –

TANCREDO: You have no respect to say a thing like that.

GUEST: — to preserve all human life.

TANCREDO: That is absolutely untrue that I said we should take out Mecca in order to send a message.

GUEST: Sir, you said we should consider it.

TANCREDO: It was never to, quote, send a message. That is an entirely inaccurate way —

GUEST: Sir, did you say that we should consider taking out Mecca?

TANCREDO: What I said was, well, do you want to fight that battle again? I’m happy to. But what I’m telling you what you just said is not only inaccurate, but I think it’s disingenuous.

COOPER: Well, as always we care about the facts on “360.” We checked the transcripts of Congressman Tancredo’s interview with Pat Campbell. When asked how he would respond to nuclear weapons, he said, quote, If this happens in the United States and it would be determined it is the result of extremist fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites. When asked, you mean bombing Mecca? Tancredo answered, yeah.

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