Responding to U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo's (CO) defense at the August 5 Republican presidential candidate debate of his July 31 comment that the United States could use the threat of an attack on Muslim holy sites to deter a nuclear attack on the United States by Islamic terrorists, Fox News Radio 600 KCOL's Scott James said Tancredo's “got a point” and “is being a pragmatist about this.”
On his August 6 show, James was discussing Tancredo's response to a statement from debate moderator George Stephanopoulos, who noted Tancredo's latest comment about deterring a potential nuclear attack on the United States by Islamic terrorists. According to CNN's “Political Ticker” website, Tancredo told a group of Iowans on July 31: “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.” Stephanopoulos said the State Department called the idea “reprehensible” and “absolutely crazy.” Tancredo responded: “My task as president of the United States is primarily to do one thing ... to protect and defend this country. And that means to deter -- and I want to underline 'deter' -- any kind of aggression, especially the type we are threatened with by Al Qaida, which is nuclear attack.”
Tancredo's July 31 comment echoed a controversial remark he made in 2005 in which he said that if terrorists struck U.S. cities with nuclear weapons “and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites.”
James said of Tancredo's comments, “He's got a point. He's being a pragmatist about this.” Later, James said that Tancredo is “smart in saying this and of course he's being demonized for doing so.” At the debate, two other GOP presidential candidates, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson and U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (KS), criticized Tancredo for his comments.
From the August 6 broadcast of Fox News Radio 600 KCOL's Ride Home with The James Gang:
JAMES: And we got some important stories to do as well. Skaggs, as in Colorado higher education director David Skaggs, seeks tuition breaks for illegal immigrants. Mm-hmm. We'll get to that story. Tancredo holding his ground on the bombing of Mecca if need be. He's got a point. He's being a pragmatist about this. Because I've often said if you take a look at these radical Muslims, if you take a look at how do you, quote-unquote, win a war. First of all, I don't think there is a traditional win. Secondly, how, if, if threatening their lives -- “we're going to kill you” -- means nothing because it's “oh, good, 72 virgins for me,” then how, how do you win the psychological warfare game? And I think Tancredo is, is, he's, he's smart in saying this and of course he's being demonized for doing so.
James also mischaracterized the statements of Colorado higher education director David Skaggs by saying he “seeks tuition breaks for illegal immigrants.” An August 3 Rocky Mountain News article that James referenced described Skaggs' plan as advocating in-state tuition to Colorado-resident students born in the United States to parents of undocumented immigrants. Such students are considered U.S. citizens.