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. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You know that song "This land is my land, this land is your land, from California to the New York island..."?
    Well that's all it is Cliven, it's just a song.
    You don't own that land unless you paid for it.
    Pay your fees and your taxes and stop being a deadbeat "patriot".
    Where do they find these arrogant conveniently confused 'Merikuns?

    April 18, 2014 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  2. Kendall

    Doesn't pay taxes? Didn't Reid spew this same garbage about Romney?

    April 18, 2014 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  3. anAmerican1954

    When one shows up with offensive weapons and threatens violence against others in defiance of law, that's terrorism. The label "domestic terrorism" is correct.

    April 18, 2014 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  4. O'drama ya Mama

    So you Republicans are going to defend a man who refuses to pay taxes? You treat this guy like some kind of folk hero while at the same time call people on welfare freeloaders. Hate to break it to you but he has been freeloading off the tax payer for 20 years!

    April 18, 2014 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  5. John

    Reid went overboard on the "terrorist" claims. But this Bundy guy is violating federal law. The government has owned the land since the Mexican-American War, before Nevada was even a state. So the feds aren't "seizing" anything. The feds have rightful ownership of that land, and like us with our land, can do it it pleases on theirs. So if that means not letting a rancher illegally graze on its land than it can do that.

    April 18, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. hotrod

    Harry, you are the one who is truly a domestic and environmental terrorist. You have held up the opening of Yucca Mountain for no legitimate reason forcing over 100 nuclear plants to continue with "temporary" storage of spent nuclear waste. Bundy likely has broken the law, however, it sounds like he has some very legitimate complaints about the issue.
    For the federal government to show up at the site with weapons pointed at civilians over tortoises and cattle is among the dumbest things our government has ever done. And you calling these people "domestic terrorists" is a perfect reason you should no longer be a Senator.

    April 18, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  7. The Right Left

    This rancher is not a terrorist but he has gathered around him people who are capable of terrorist activities. He is a free loader who has benefitted from the land belonging to the people of United States(Federal Land) and refuses to pay for the benefit he mooched off. He should pay for what he owes just like other ranchers. The Feds will not back down, just like they didn't during the Confederate rebellion. Many fools and good people will loose their lives over this man's folly.
    Talk about a welfare Queen who happens to be a right wing millionaire.

    April 18, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    If this were, say, a person living in the inner city who was suing the federal government because he/she was told to pay back the welfare they had defrauded from the government, the Right would have no problem enforcing that law and would demand that person be locked up. However, because its a rancher grazing for nothing on Federal Land in a state where almost all of the land is owned by the Feds, suddenly he's a hero? Talk about hypocrisy. The grazing fees were raised because they had remained untouched for generations, and to let people continue to do this is tantamount to highway robbery.

    April 18, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  9. Brian Richards

    For the person who wanted a definition of terrorist:

    "A person who uses of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes."

    That fairly well describes the armed rabble supporting this deadbeat who is mooching off the American taxpayers.

    BTW, conservatives should learn how to read before posting about definitions.

    April 18, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  10. Tony B

    Usually whens someone calls themselves "patriot" or "freedom-lover" nowadays, the image that comes up is that of a thug, thief, or common loudmouth trash.

    The Senator is 100% correct this time.

    April 18, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  11. TiredOfPaying

    I see no reason to allow this rancher to skip paying the fees. He's stealing from taxpayers (me) and from the other ranchers who DO pay the fees. Then we are learning that in order to keep your property all you need is a bunch of crazy gun nuts and the government will back off. That's a lesson many will use in the future, because we have a lot of needed changes to do to get America back on track. My only solice is that when push comes to shove I seriously doubt that the paid guns of the Rich will have the convictions to protect them that these rancher's friends did.

    April 18, 2014 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  12. ronnie

    I watched the bruhaha caused by this "WELFARE COWBOY". He belongs in jail and his assets siezed . Putting women and children in front is a COWARDLY way to face your mistakes!

    April 18, 2014 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  13. Anon

    This guy doesn't pay taxes or grazing fees for using public lands so ALL of his assets should be seized and he shold be jailed. Period.

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

    Bundy and his gang of nuts are domestic terrorists. Send in the troops, take them to jail, and take Sean Hannity along with them.

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

    He's absolutely right, these people are domestic terrorists. Everyone of us has to pay taxes and I pay fees all the time to the state and feds when I want to use their land or drive my car on their roads. Wake yourself up! You may not like Harry Reid but people who don't pay taxes and abuse federal land will pay, in prison.

    April 18, 2014 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  16. DP

    I'm not remotely terrorized by the rancher's supporters. Reid does creep me out. Doesn't that make him a worse terrorist?

    April 18, 2014 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  17. Sean

    Reid and those federal agents involved all broke their oaths to the U. S. Constitution and are in fact traitors.

    This is exactly the reason why there was no provision for any federal police force written in the Constitution. Police powers were reserved for the individual states and it's time for all federal "law enforcement" agencies to give up their powers of arrest and their weapons.

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

    You are the terrorist Mr. Reid! So quick to use force against people who are Not on your side... typical of this Administration!
    There is a simple way to take care of this.... put a lien on his property. When Mr. Bundy dies his land and possessions go to the government.

    April 18, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  19. Maria Delaluz

    OK, Neveda – don't tell me (if Reid runs again) that you'll re-elect this clown?

    April 18, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  20. garcher

    The only terrorist in this country are the ones currently occupying our white house in the socialist democratic party against the people of the United States. That's right reid we the people are United States in our stand against you and your kind. We have had enough and we are going to get rid of you like we did England when they were tyrannical and trying to run rough shod over us. There is no place in this country for liars like you and your cohorts and your over taxation. Get out while you can without tar and feathers.

    April 18, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  21. Calif US Patriot

    So wheres your outrage at ILLEGAL ALIENS Reid? Why aren't you sending in forces to have them removed?

    April 18, 2014 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  22. chris

    bite me harry. They have a disagreement with the gov't that doesn't make them terrorists. They did not shoot/taze/pepper spray anyone.

    April 18, 2014 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  23. kev2672

    Anyone who disagrees with the dems is a domestic terrorist according to them.

    April 18, 2014 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  24. david

    The Constitution is very clear folks: no one is above the law in this country. I am ashamed at these punks that think they live in a parallel universe. Proud of Reid. perhaps he ought to be President.

    April 18, 2014 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  25. dotofoz

    The government bent over backwards trying to solve this. They negotiated rent that is cheaper than what other ranchers pay, but he still wouldn't pay. Make him put his cattle on his own land. He does not own this land. How would any of you feel if I came and decided to move my sheep into your back yard to graze? Or if I moved into your spare bedroom. If you are a landlord, should all your renters just stop paying their rent? Make this deadbeat pay his rent. How is he not a "taker"? Let some other rancher who isn't a mooch graze his cattle, and get rid of this guy.

    April 18, 2014 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
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