Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., wants Republicans to condemn Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy for making racist remarks first quoted by the New York Times.
“Today, Bundy revealed himself to be a hateful racist. But by denigrating people who work hard and play by the rules while he mooches off public land he also revealed himself to be a hypocrite,” Reid said in a statement Thursday.
Bundy’s comments began with the remark: “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro.”
“They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy?” Bundy said, according to the New York Times report. “They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
For his part, Reid has repeatedly called the Bundy supporters at the ranch “domestic terrorists,” standing by that term during a joint TV appearance with fellow Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.
Heller had called the same supporters “patriots.” However, his spokeswoman Chander Smith told the Times that Heller “completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way.”
In his statement Thursday, Reid said the rule of law should trump any political disagreements over the grazing fees.
“To advance his extreme, hateful views, Bundy has endangered the lives of innocent women and children. This is not a game. It is the height of irresponsibility for any individual or entity in a position of power or influence to glorify or romanticize such a dangerous individual, and anyone who has done so should come to their senses and immediately condemn Bundy,” said Reid. “For their part, national Republican leaders could help show a united front against this kind of hateful, dangerous extremism by publicly condemning Bundy.”
Here is the video of Bundy’s remarks posted by liberal group Media Matters:
Niels Lesniewski has covered the Senate for CQ Roll Call since January 2010, and more recently as a staff writer and resident procedure guru for Roll Call. Niels holds degrees in both government and theater but sometimes can't tell the difference between the two. @nielslesniewski
Humberto Sanchez covers the Senate for Roll Call. Prior to joining, he covered the budget and appropriations process for Congress Daily/NJ Daily for three years.@hsanchez128