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. rcj22001

    It is you sir, and your ilk that are the domestic terrorists. You have pillaged the good, hard working people of this country to almost the point of no return. If another politician were never born again, this world would be a far better place!

    April 17, 2014 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  2. Taxpaying Voter

    Funny how Reid brings up that this guy doesn't pay his taxes or fees and thumbs his nose at authority. Remind me again how many people in the Obama admin were caught not paying their taxes? They didn't get a task force to track them down and try to arrest them, they just a bi-weekly paycheck from the taxpayers.

    Reid is just upset that the American people are starting to wake up and see what the .gov is doing to them and how they forced the .gov to back down since they were out manned and out gunned.

    April 17, 2014 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  3. Chris

    "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.”

    So Bundy is a Politician?

    April 17, 2014 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  4. Vicki

    I agree with Senator Reid completely. The way Fox is celebrating this free loader just goes to show how corrupt and devious the GOP and Fox have become. I do not support this man and I hope that no one is harmed because of all the gun carrying lunatics who are hanging around.

    April 17, 2014 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  5. Miami Mike

    "He doesn't pay his taxes..."

    Neither do Senators and Representatives... And they do more damage to anyone else.

    April 17, 2014 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  6. Travis

    Harry is picking a fight with a people that has had enough of Government intrusion and bullying! He should know when he is to small to win a fight. This is that fight and he should be silent before the patriots turn their anger on the little man in the glasses!

    April 17, 2014 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    If you're looking for a REAL Western hero, look to Bud Purdy of Idaho. He passed away Monday, April 14, at the age of 96.

    He helped start the Idaho Cattle Association, led the University of Idaho Foundation as president, and was chairman of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry. Idaho Gov. Butch Otter said this about him:

    "Bud Purdy was the very embodiment of the Code of the West – someone whose life was a lesson in cowboy ethics, common sense, stewardship, and the value of hard work and perseverance."

    Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Purdy donated a 3,500-acre conservation easement along Silver Creek in the 1990s to the Nature Conservancy, adjacent to its own Silver Creek Preserve. The easement protected the creek and its environs from future development. This land belonged to Mr. Purdy – and he knew the best way to protect it was to give it to an organization that would steward it properly.

    But here's the kicker: Purdy didn't even take the tax break on the land easement, valued at $7 million.

    Not all ranchers are jerks like Cliven Bundy – and I salute Harry Reid for calling out Bundy for the royal nitwit he is.

    April 17, 2014 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  8. Bill from GA

    "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.”

    Wow! Can you do that in this country?? Why do any of us support our government?? If one man can ignore his obligations to our government, why can't we all?? Heck, who needs government-built highways? Who needs government-managed waterways and airports?? Who needs a military?? The CIA?

    Let's ALL quit paying our government. And if Bundy doesn't have to pay rent for land his cattle graze on, why should the rest of us pay rent for our offices? Or our homes and apartments?

    Let's ALL quit paying our bills. And to heck with China, and everyone else our government owes money to. And those retired government workers and vets. Forget THEM!

    Let's ALL become a nation of FreeLoaders, living the good life without paying for it. I never knew those were Conservative Values, but if Fox 'News" says it is, and 'ol Preacher Huck says it is, then SURELY it is.

    Bundy. My New Hero!!

    (Not meant to be taken seriously)

    April 17, 2014 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  9. tallulah131

    Those who seek to steal the usage of public lands are nothing more than thieves. Those that seek to steal the usage of public lands at gunpoint can very easily be considered terrorists. These criminals are not patriots. They are spoiled children throwing temper tantrums because they think they should be allowed to break the law at whenever they please.

    April 17, 2014 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  10. nuclear mike

    The Federalist use this "terrorist" label whenever a citizen(s) does not surrender to their Federal terms & conditions now as the way to legitmize their actions against citizens...

    April 17, 2014 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  11. Steve- Illinois

    One thing about Harry, if he says it, it probably isn't true.
    Now they're going to form a DOJ task force. LOL
    Over some rancher that's not hurting anything.
    Any bets he gets prosecuted with just a tad more zeal then the black panthers who were intimidating voters?

    April 17, 2014 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  12. Bob - just Bob

    Give 'em heck Harry!

    April 17, 2014 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  13. smith1

    Harry is right . The other ranchers pay their taxes why should this crazy get away with it. If his cattle destroy our land then you and I pick up the tab. The bunch of pistol packin idiots are the very reason we need gun control. I bet most where not registered and since it is obvious most are loonies, they should not even be allowed to carry guns. Probably could not pass a mental health check. To busy looking for martians with that red moon and all

    April 17, 2014 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  14. billy_bob

    and harry reid is a crook. hey reid, why won't you disclose how you became a millionare working on a congressmans salary? why won't you disclose that your SON is working on the solar farm property next to the bundy property and making MILLIONS of dollars why you push through laws to force everyone else out of business?

    April 17, 2014 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  15. Not Too Hard To Understand

    One thing about Harry Reid, he calls 'em the way he sees them and he's rarely incorrect.

    April 17, 2014 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  16. Jim Moore

    This issue went to court and a federal judge (who is a Mormon Republican) ruled that Mr. Bundy had to vacate the BLM owned land. An appeals court did not hear Bundy's appeal. So he get about 1,000 vigilantes to stand by him. This reminds me of the University of MIssissippi in 1962.

    Hopefully the US Attorney will seek an arrest warrant for Mr. Bundy for contempt of court and will put liens on everything he owns. If we don't obey the law we have mob rule. Do people want to go back to the days of lynchings?

    April 17, 2014 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  17. sonnie3

    Harry is one terrorist, also. He is charge of stripping our liberties and freedoms.

    April 17, 2014 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  18. gary nelson

    Reid is a bigot and an idiot.Lets do an IRS audit on this champion of the people

    April 17, 2014 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  19. Dave

    Senator Reid is a national disgrace . He is nothing more than slime sitting in the bottom of a septic tank.

    April 17, 2014 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    Why doesn't the rancher just follow the law? All the BLM is doing is enforcing existing law, which the Right apparently finds offensive in any case where they whip up the whackjob chorus.

    April 17, 2014 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  21. Brian Bauer

    Terrorism? Really? That is ridiculous Harry Reid. Whether you support these people's cause or not, they are not terrorists. If they were terrorists, they would be killing civilians. They haven't killed anyone. As a matter of fact, in the videos I have seen they have shown a considerable amount of restraint when they stood against the BLM.
    The only one who has used violence in this situation is the US Gov't.

    April 17, 2014 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  22. sonnie3

    We have laws on the books, like immigration that Harry thumbs his nose at. Harry is looking at what will happen when government runs amuck.

    April 17, 2014 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  23. jan

    Pretty obvious that Bundy attracted every militia nutcase in the region and undoubtedly far beyond. Any excuse to diss, harass, and threaten the government will do – even Bundy's illegal behavior. Bet the dingbats were disappointed when the government wisely withdrew. Couldn't shoot those guns.

    April 17, 2014 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  24. Dave

    Well, I guess we know how my government views me if I disagree. I am a terrorist. Well I disagree.

    April 17, 2014 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  25. tobystell

    Oh boy, the word used is "Terrorist" Now we've seen an original use of vocabulary, to describe freedom loving, Justice seeking Americans. So, does this mean they can all be arrested and held without charge? Since the NDAA says so...

    April 17, 2014 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
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