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. ron

    If he doesn't pay his taxes, why isn't he in prison?

    April 18, 2014 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  2. Keith

    Reid and the rest of the politicians better get ready for mob rule because they have abdicated their responsibility for so long that we are tired of it.

    We might follow the rules if the Congressmen did, and tried to govern instead of spending their time adding to their bank account. Corruption begins at the top, not at the bottom.

    April 18, 2014 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  3. John D.

    Harry, you aren't concerned about the money owed for grazing. You are only concerned about the money you and your son stand to make off that land if you can clear it of cattle.

    April 18, 2014 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  4. Josh

    It is shameful that Harry Reid leads the US Senate. He is a poster child for government oppression.

    April 18, 2014 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  5. Wes

    So the government changed the laws regarding grazing in 1993 to protect an endangered desert tortoise, however for a fee related to the amount of cattle you have in the area they graze the ranchers could still graze there. Sounds like a repressive tax grab, not an honest effort to protect an endangered desert tortoise. Now this rancher has chose not to give into the demands of the federal government and not pay some trivial tax, as if paying the government a fee actually saves the tortoise, its a kind of pay to graze tax. The American government is out of control, lost their way, lost their vision, how do these people get re-elected? At what point do the American people say hey, wait a minute, are these people across both party lines really looking at for the best interests of Americans or are most of these politicians even capable of relating to majority of the people they represent. America can be changed in 2 election cycles, the American people should make a pact with each other, term limits, term limits do not need to legislated (as people who make laws will never make them to restrict their own power) but I can't believe in this day and age with all the information we have and ability to communicate to each other that America is stuck in perpetual rule by the same corrupt crew and their associates. This type of story spreads across "party" lines, its the federal government "out to get" a rancher and now label those who stand with him as "terrorists". Crazy, absolutely crazy, here's something really wild, according to the law of the federal government, they can be labelled terrorists and therefore a drone can attack them, or they can be forcefully arrested and held without trail, have their rights strip away and never heard from again. Americans need to reach out to each other and have a real conversation, not include politicians or include the false idea of a party system. Regular people representing regular people. Civilian government, not lifetime officials.

    April 18, 2014 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  6. Zeke

    Harry Reid lives a delusional life. He is really Mr. Peepers from TV fame. He is a lackey for the White House and turns on his own constituent in Nevada to suit Obama'a heavy handed use of dogs and gun threats to punish American citizens. The last time I saw dogs used against demonstrators was in Alabama in the 1960s and the victims were African Americans. Congratulations Reid and Obama, you have provided enough video that makes the Feds look like the clowns they are.

    April 18, 2014 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  7. Anonymous


    Reid said "he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority.” Sounds a lot like the Obama Administration stance on illegal aliens and ObamaCare.

    Great points. Its the hyprocracy of harry Reid and the left. BTW, its not about the desert tortise or taxes, its about Reid son wanting to use that land to work with the Chinese with tax payer funds on a solar project.

    April 18, 2014 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  8. Addison

    It reallly is time for Mr. Reid to go. People of Nevada.. please please do not vote him in again.

    April 18, 2014 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  9. hkirwin


    Reid has been in government too long. Reid is a devout Communist.

    Reid made boldface lying the new standard in Government. Obama is his best student.

    April 18, 2014 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  10. BB

    I thought the government was supposed to be serving the citizens of the country, not the other way around. Our government is getting more and more dictatorial. We need an uprising, and militias are what is going to start the revolution.

    April 18, 2014 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  11. KarmaBurns

    Shame on you, Mr. Reid! Proof that all political parties are Pro-Feudalism. This man needs to lose his next election. Americans who want to keep some of their autonomy are NOT terrorists but plain Americans who still hold out hope for the original principles the country was founded upon. Both parties have lost complete site of this!

    April 18, 2014 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  12. jpmichigan

    The use of the word "terrorist" is used to freely by those in politics and in the media. Mr. Reid has to GO! The American people have the power to do so through the voting booth, so wake up and use it!!!!

    April 18, 2014 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  13. BytraWatches

    Actually Harry you bum, you got it all wrong, they represent the people and you represent an over-reaching federal government. Its time that term limits are implemented and put and end to career politicians along with the best government for sale that has since replaced the government "For the people, by the people"!

    April 18, 2014 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  14. Blacksheep

    Ok, those of you reading this, why do you keep voting for Harry? Really, give me one reason.

    April 18, 2014 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  15. alex

    This old fart needs to go

    April 18, 2014 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  16. Libdumb

    You are my enemy Reid. I hope you burn in Hell. You are not even deserving of that consequence. Get yourself a couple of more wives.

    April 18, 2014 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  17. KarmaBurns

    Mr. Reid is not only entitled to his opinion, @spudnik56 (love the moniker btw), but also a reality check that he is not a Duke nor an Earl.

    April 18, 2014 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  18. American Mike

    Every one of those militia members should be tried for treason. And the rancher's ranch should be sold at auction to pay his debt. Just because you pay taxes doesn't mean you are entitled to use any public lands however you see fit.

    April 18, 2014 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    OK, the Government owns 600.000 acres of land. Land tax payers paid for and now you are trying to make a cattle rancher pay for the use of land that he has already paid for
    The first sentence of your post disproves your post.
    If the government owns 600,000 acres he needs to pay the government for the use of that land.
    The fact that he is a tax payer doesn't give him ownership of said land. It is still government owned.
    The government owns the highways that they built with taxpayers money but I still have to pay tolls on those highways.

    April 18, 2014 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  20. Anonymous

    There is more to this story. I don't believe Bundy but I certainly don't believe Reid either. LIke the guy said, if this had been in litigation for 23 years, Bundy must have some rights and the government must stand down until it is resolved. The IRS would not let taxes go unpaid for that long either. There has to be something pertaining to ownership or rights there that Bundy has or it would not have gone on for 23 years. Hmm. I with Walter Cronkite was here to cover it.

    April 18, 2014 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  21. Just Sayn

    If you ask the people who were harrased and intimidated by BLM during the gov't shutdown, they will tell you it is the BLM, who are the Terrorists.

    April 18, 2014 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  22. Jeff Martin

    These men were aiming rifles at law enforcement personnel. I might not use the word terrorist but I would send the sheriff to arrest them. As the Repubs point out. Fees are taxes. The man isn't paying his taxes. If you owed a mil in back taxes you think nothing is going to happen?

    April 18, 2014 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  23. kendall

    Its difficult to side with people who think the are above the law just because they don't agree with it. We evolve as a human race and nation, make new laws and abide by them on a daily basis. What gives the ranchers the right to decide on their own which laws to follow and which ones no to? Sorry but the rest of the nation has to follow the laws, so should they. They should have all been arrested for obstruction of justice.

    April 18, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  24. Tom

    Bundy is using public lands, not private lands without paying for it. The previous comment that he paid for the land with his taxes so he shouldn't have to pay to use them is about the most asinine comment I've ever seen. Hundreds of millions of people's taxes paid for the land, no one individual gets to use it for free. He is a leach, a millionaire welfare queen. The government was correct in trying to remove the cattle from the Federal land. If Bundy doesn't like it, we have a court system to fight them in. Instead, Bundy and his idiotic supporters took up arms and threatened law enforcement official's lives. They should be arrested and charged, as should anybody who threatens a police officer trying to do their job.

    April 18, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  25. PHenry

    The rancher is the typical neocon anti-American who doesn't understand American values of equal justice. He's a rich guy who pays his workers slave wages and wants free handouts to further enrich himself. Send him and all his plutocratic supporters back to King George.

    April 18, 2014 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
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