Reid calls supporters of Nevada cattle rancher 'domestic terrorists'
April 17th, 2014
09:17 PM ET
8 years ago

Reid calls supporters of Nevada cattle rancher 'domestic terrorists'

(CNN) - Never one to mince words, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, lumped supporters of Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy in with the Eric Rudolphs, Richard Reids and Timothy McVeighs.

The senate majority leader labeled those who defended the rancher against a Bureau of Land Management cattle roundup "domestic terrorists" at a Thursday evening question-and-answer session hosted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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"Those people who hold themselves out to be patriots are not. They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists,” Reid said. "I repeat: What went on up there was domestic terrorism.”

Reid's remarks come on the heels of a tense, weeklong showdown that drew armed militia groups from across the country to the cattleman's side, especially after a YouTube video captured a tussle teetering on violence between rangers and protesters.

The BLM ultimately decided to shut down its weeklong roundup of Bundy's cattle Saturday after the incident.

Bundy owed nearly $1 million to the government and has avoided paying federal grazing fees for 20 years. His dispute with the government began around 1993 when the bureau changed grazing rules for the 600,000-acre Gold Butte area to protect an endangered desert tortoise, CNN affiliate KLAS reported.

For his part, Reid insisted that the conflict was not over. The Nevada lawmaker said he spoke with both federal and state law officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder, and was given assurances a task force would be established to deal with the Bundy case.

“It is an issue that we cannot let go, just walk away from,” Reid said.

While the senator mainly took issue with the hundreds who flocked to Bundy's cause, Reid also jabbed at the rancher's reputation.

"He doesn’t pay his taxes," Reid said. "He doesn’t pay his fees. And he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority.”

Filed under: Harry Reid
soundoff (921 Responses)
  1. marek

    clearly the terrorists are the federal government! why should ANYONE pay the government for using land TO FEED COWS OF ALL THINGS that isn't being used by ANYONE?! what in the world is this horrible bureaucratic madness!? GO TO THE BORDER AND GUARD IT FROM THE INFLUXING MASSES OF ILLEGALS YOU PIGS. I AM A DEMOCRAT and i am disgusted by the unnecessary provocations and infringement of people freedoms!

    April 18, 2014 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  2. Mark

    Uh...Mr. Reid....before you begin chucking 'doesn't pay his taxes' accusations/insults – you may want to step out of that congressional glass house. Bundy not paying taxes is one issue. Elected officials who are in charge of writing the tax laws who are not paying their taxes is something entirely different.

    As for domestic terrorist – HOW DARE YOU! You fruitcakes in DC have used that word to "burn crops and slaughter cattle" for long enough. Bundy's antics have hurt (as in physically!) no one. But everyday I drive into town I see plenty of folks who have been harmed by the piss-poor legislation that you and your career political stooges have passed.

    Shut up, Harry. Your plan backfired.

    April 18, 2014 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  3. johnharry2911

    you forgot to add George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, George Mason, By todays standards they would be called terrorists. You and Nancy should go crawl under a rock.

    April 18, 2014 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  4. B-13

    Time to pay up.

    April 18, 2014 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  5. castaway

    If it was up to dingy Harry, he'd request a few drones and hellfire missiles to take care of the evil domestic terrorists.

    April 18, 2014 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  6. Mark


    Before you start calling anyone a 'domestic terrorist' – YOU better go stand in the mirror! You and your ilk have brought more pain and more suffering to a wider swath of common folk with your lasses-faire, piss-poor "legislation" . Just because you get to hold the pen to write law – DOESN'T make it good law.

    As for what? He owes taxes!! So does a whole bunch of the other schmucks standing on your left and right! AND – THEY wrote the ding-dang tax laws!! At least Bundy WORKS for his money!

    Domestic Terrorist?? So now you're gonna pull out all the stops and push the panic button????

    Harry, shut up and sit down.

    April 18, 2014 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  7. Kevin

    "He doesn’t pay his taxes," Reid said. "He doesn’t pay his fees. And he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority.” Sounds like Bundy could be a congressman.

    April 18, 2014 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  8. echosierra

    Harry Reid pressured NV Energy to support ENN in a windfarm project reported in 2010 at Gatewaypundit. He did it again in 2012 trying to get NV Energy to support the ENN Laughin solar project reported in the Review Journal. Why is a senior U.S. Senator making such efforts for a foreign corporation to include helping them get stimulus money?

    April 18, 2014 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  9. reasonbyfaith

    Who is the I would propose it is the one trying to use force to take someone else's property and denying them their freedoms. This land has been used since before there were these government agencies. How can they come in now and take away what has been a freedom for almost 150 years?

    April 18, 2014 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  10. Anonymous

    "He doesn’t pay his taxes," Reid said. "He doesn’t pay his fees. And he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority.”

    He probably exempted himself from the you do every day.

    April 18, 2014 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  11. WeAreTheNormal

    "He doesn’t pay his taxes," Reid said. "He doesn’t pay his fees. And he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority.”

    Hmm...the same thing could be said about those in congress and, in particular, Harry Reid.

    April 18, 2014 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  12. fire reid

    Harry Reid wanted that land for Communist China. There is no such thing as Federal Land. This land belongs to the people. This government works for US, they do not work for lobbyists or foreign nations, and WE do not serve the government.. Its due time they remember that before it comes back to bite them. Reid should be charged with High treason fired and executed.

    April 18, 2014 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  13. Dan

    When you start calling your constituents terrorists it's time for you to retire from public office. When you start calling Americans terrorists when they ride to one another's rescue like the cavalry of old, you may just have crossed the Rubicon, my public servants.

    April 18, 2014 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  14. Kerry Reed

    So....standing up for ones rights is now considered "domestic terrorism"? When a government acts like the BLM did it is called tyranny. What has happened to this once Great nation? Remember this?
    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, One Nation Under GOD, Indivisible, with Liberty and justice for ALL. We as a Nation are divided and loosing our rights on a daily bases. For justice...well lets see...Al Sharpton owes $1.9 million in back taxes and held a fundraiser and dinner with President Obama. We know what they are doing for Bundy and it's not dinner. In the end we all loose.

    April 18, 2014 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  15. Traci Gilmartin

    I love pointing out to Tea Party members that it was President Reagan who signed the executive order creating the cattle grazing fees on public land. Which is probably how long ago, 1986, that Mr. Bundy has been refusing to pay that fee. Imagine that, conservatives upset at a conservative President while blaming it on a liberal President whose administration is simply enforcing that law.

    April 18, 2014 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  16. ERIC J

    they are insurgents.

    April 18, 2014 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  17. Mark1

    Reid needs to go and soon.

    April 18, 2014 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  18. Marie MD

    Armed militia and not paying taxes. This is what the teaklans are all about.
    Everybody pay their own way but them.
    Found out yesterday that the fortune of adelson, the koch brothers and so many other of the richest Americans have doubled during the Obama's administration because congress continues to give the rich and the richest more and more tax breaks and loopholes.

    April 18, 2014 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  19. Billy Joe Jim Bob

    These parasites have been sponging off of the land and the government for over a century, as if the land were theirs. It is not theirs. It is *ours*. These fat cat pigs are not good Americans. They are the worst of the worst, looking for handouts at every opportunity. Their supporters are a bunch of knuckle-dragging imbeciles, looking for any excuse to fire their weapons, which they carry because they live in a constant state of fear. Pathetic.

    April 18, 2014 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  20. amusedbyyou

    Reid is right, they were armed terrorists and military or national guard should have been sent in immediately and placed them in custody to await for trial for terrorism without bail, bundy as well

    April 18, 2014 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  21. anonymous

    This is an absurdity ... when a country and state cares more for an endangered overgrown turtle than its own citizens... And I ,to senator Reid, would ask that you not refer to a citizen as a terrorist when he and his supporters are just standing up for what they believe in ... he isn't changing what his famiky has been doing for over a 100 years ... your laws have changed ... all for money and in tge name of a good cause ... it disturbs me when a country hails and praises events like the boston tea part ... a major event to spark the revolutionary war ... which when you look at it, it was a governments overbearing taxation of its people that led to the start of that war and we remember them as heros and patriots ... not a group of Domestic Terrorist ... and as a Army Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom i have seen REAL DOMESTIC TERRORISM, Senator Reid, and I know that this Rancher who has told you NO is not one of them, Sir.

    April 18, 2014 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  22. reldra

    You can then call me a Domestic Terrorist, Harry Reid, since I support Cliven Bundy.

    April 18, 2014 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  23. devil's advocate

    Harry's mouth is a loose cannon, tone it down dumb dumb. Let them hang themselves, they went all in on obamacare, and are likely to say some very big lies, and spend ungodly amounts of money doing it. I only hope if the gop wins the Senate, those who voted for them watch what they do after in power. I know they aren't the most educated, but just maybe they'll get a clue when they realize they're just another niger to the gop, enjoy fools.

    April 18, 2014 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  24. Jason Ransone

    This is really "rich" for Harry Reid to talk about a ranching family who is being run off the use of grazing lands it had use for decades to appeal to one of Harry's favorite projects – the expansion of the Federal bureaucracy (the BLM) all in the name of eco-soldiering to protect a tortoise. Can anyone really tell us how many such tortoises put people to work in the world? Are their shells of special value so much so that industry should be inconvenienced for their safety? The fight is, as Reid said, about something larger and must go on. The West - and particularly Nevada which is 87% owned by the Feds - have an army of highly paid, highly pensioned Federal employees in myriad departments that wander around the millions of Nevada acres doing.....nothing. Absolutely nothing. They protect the age brush from someone driving on it. Or they find ways to kill power plants fired with Coal because of a concern that the jack rabbits and desert tortoises might not like the pollution from the powerplant. This is all great for people like Senator Reid who have made their entire living off of promoting bigger and bigger government and through his political largesse expanding his power base. But for the people of the West who want to create industry - unlike Harry's Green Energy sector which, again, simply feeds off of Federal subsidies - all of the Feds lauding over the land and acting like they are doing something is sickening. Whether in the mining industry, agribusiness, or family ranching, Harry Reid's army of Federal employees have long ago lost their utility to the people of Nevada.

    April 18, 2014 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  25. District Nine

    Ok. So, I can buy a one acre plot of land. Start breeding cattle and let them graze on my neighbor's land, then become a millionaire? Whether there is a tortoise or not?

    April 18, 2014 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
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