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. Al

    I believe Reid is right.

    April 18, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Bently

    It's amazes me that people even comment on this story without even knowing much about it. The Bundy's are good people and there family has been using this property for over 100 years. They are the furthest thing from criminals. There kind of like homesteaders. The property should be state owned and not federally owned and they should have the rights to ranch it, no matter how bad the Reid's want to profit from it. It's not about the turtles its about the Reid's wanting to sell it to the Chinese and make multi millions.

    April 18, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Tarzan

    Reid is absolutely right. It baffles me that any of you idiots support this tax evader; on what grounds? Should I stop paying taxes and ask the nub-job "Patriots" protect me? That seems to be your reasoning.

    April 18, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Tim

    Interesting that Reid can see fault in so many others but not himself. I was on the fence about whether or not I agreed with Mr. Bundy, but now that Reid has classified him as a "terrorist", I fully support Mr. Bundy. I am not sure that Reid can open his mouth without saying something dishonest.

    April 18, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. tsl

    surprised reid did not work "racism" into his speech. the democrats use "racism" every time they find someone who disagrees with their ideology.

    April 18, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. ralph

    "Reid's sun is the CEO of the Chinese energy company that is building a 5 billion dollar solar farm there. Bundy's land is a "enviromental mitigation zone" meant to be a reserve to offset the destruction of the desert there. Who is the real terorist Reid?"

    It's not Bundy's land. It is owned by the federal government.

    April 18, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. RobertCosta

    Harry Reid needs to go down to Walmart, buy a rocker, and sit in it.

    He is doing nothing more than harming America and needs to totter off into retirement. He a bad caricature of a pompous self-important corrupt politician.

    April 18, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Searching for Hope

    Reid refused to call the Fort Hood murderer a terrorist but calls these protesters/resisters who have killed no one terrorists?? I can't believe some of you support him...if anything shows Reid's heart, this does.

    April 18, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. Shane W.

    They're the terrorists? Reid, what about the illegal $5 billion deal you were setting up with a Chinese government corporation to sell that land for solar panels? You know, the one where your son's law firm was representing the Chinese corporation, and your previous senior adviser, who is now the head of the BLM, is acting as the strong arm for them. But of course, the people who are standing up to government corruption (see: Harry Reid) are domestic terrorists, right?

    April 18, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Name goes here

    Funny how the media fails to report the "feds" showed up in full military fashion before anyone even thought about carrying a rifle. They do this to us black people in the cities all the time when the situation could be mitigated civilly. I wish sheeple could see the bigger picture.

    April 18, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. sam mazarella

    Ya gotta' love Uncle Harry. Those of us close to him call him Scooby-Doo.

    April 18, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. RightishLeft

    The whole affair is disgusting. On one hand you have a welfare queen rancher using the threat of a riot to get the use of public property that he thinks he's entitled to without paying for it (sounds familiar ?) On another hand you have a loudmouth demagogic senator implying references to the anti-Constitutional Patriot Act that suspends any and all constitutional rights of citizens, in what is clearly a criminal / civil matter. (Would Reid use the same language against a rioting inner city crowd ?)

    Ideally – send Reid back to Nevada, abolish Patriot Act, treat this bunch of morons as common criminals / tax evaders within the confines of Constitution. Of course, in the age when partisan demagogery and public relations trump law and common sense, this will not happen.

    April 18, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. April

    This is NOT how a statesman settles an issue. You were NOT elected to represent the District of Columbia, Mr. Reid and making inflammitory statements that further widen the divide does not resolve this long standing issue. It was't Bundy's supporters who first showed up at the site with armed forces and it is NOT domestic terrorism for the people of this country to take up arms and say enough is enough when their government levels guns and Tazers at it's citizenry.He should pay any taxes and or fees that legally apply, yes, but we the people of this country are not serfs who should drop to their knees in mindless obedience when their government shows up on their doorsteps, armed, and demanding their livlihoods and money. Remember, you represent the people of Nevada first and D.C, second. This is a legal matter and should be handled in the courts, not with armed thugs wearing BLM jackets, bullying those speaking out and rustling cattle.

    April 18, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  14. Really

    Reid's son has a financial interest in that land. He's just being a corrupted government corrupt as they come.

    April 18, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. Mano de Nada

    "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.”

    Politicians don't like other people playing their game ya know?

    April 18, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. Bob

    As has been repeatedly demonstrated by sources on the right and left, Reid has no financial interest in this land whatsoever. Both the right and left are in agreement with this - it's nothing more than a 100%, whole-cloth, baseless lie. And both the right and the left should also be in agreement that lying and cheating aren't American values - if you're lying and cheating for political gain, then you don't deserve to call yourself American. So why are the supporters of this rancher continuing to lie about that?

    Well, probably for the same reason that he thinks he doesn't have to pay his taxes, doesn't have to respect the rights of others who might want to use the land, doesn't have to care about anything other than his own financial benefit. He's a thief - a plain old-fashioned thief - whose only justification is that he's stealing from the American people rather than from any particular American. The law says that if you want to graze, you've got to reimburse the American people - because lots of Americans would like to use that land, it belongs to everyone, and if you're the only one benefiting from it, if you're using it to the exclusion of all the rest of us being able to do so, then you've got to pay the rest of us back. He doesn't want to - he wants to take without paying.

    We can debate the nature and purpose of society. We can debate the finer points of economic systems. But from Moses to today, there has never been debate about this one simple principle – stealing is wrong, and those who engage in it cannot justify their actions by yelling and screaming about the tyrrany of those who come to enforce the laws.

    April 18, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. OnTheRoad

    The 'True' domestic terrorist in this country is our current government starting at the white house all the way down to Congress!

    April 18, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. Bart Hawkins

    Also amusing....Reid doesn't pay his taxes EITHER (see CNNs story on THAT)...but also, if the Bundy's have been grazing on this land for 100 years or so, then under NEVADA law they own rights to the land (but not the land itself, nor mineral rights).....Reid is no more honest than the senior Jesse Jackson, who EXTORTED a $30 million beer franchise out of the Busch family.......

    April 18, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. shawn

    Not a huge fan of Reid but I think he is corrent in this instance. These so called "patriots" are nothing more then domestic terrorist.

    April 18, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. Mikey Mike

    Well said April!!!

    April 18, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. Thor

    Reid is grandstanding on an issue that has more depth than his feeble mind is capable of understanding. The ranchers have been using this land for grazing cattle ever since the 1800's (many of my grand ancestors were some of the original cowboys who hailed from South Lousiana to run cattle to and from the market along the Old Spanish Trail). Then, all of a sudden the government comes in to shut down the ability of a good man to earn a living. Bundy has been doing business... good business, providing jobs, food, a livelyhood... a way of life. Then people come in, without reviewing the risk to the balance of life, and begin to impact his business by telling him he can't use those methods anymore! This, from a bunch of people who pay farmers to not grow crops. The grazing cattle have more benefit biologically to the lands they graze than those tortoises do (which can be easily moved)... (yes, I have friends who do that for a living too!). So, because of Rieds ignorance... and the Bereau arrogance, the land has the potential to be ruined. Should Bundy pay taxes for being restricted by the government for his business? Doesn't quite seem fair given the circumstances that the government has complacently fallen into. Due to complacency about the real facts of what is going on, and ALL the facts, the lazy beuracrats jump into enforcement. That is not the government that makes sense. And then... Mr Reid.. you continue to preach that Bundy's friends are terrorists? Well, given that you probably now know the circumstances, who really is the terrorist?

    April 18, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. ORChuck

    Reid is wrong in his use of the word "terrorist." He is grossly misusing this emotionally-charged word and he should be ashamed of himself... but, like many long-time Washington politicians, he has no sense of shame.

    What I want to know is how much we taxpayers are spending to collect a less-than-one-million-dollar debt. A million bucks sounds like a lot of money - and it is - but it doesn't take long to spend more than that when you're sending hundreds of federal agents to address the issue, personally involving the Attorney General of the United States, and personally involving congressmen.

    April 18, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. saulbejarano

    This should not be Federal Land, this is state owned land and as Bundy said if I am going to pay something it will be to the state not to the Federal Government.
    Reid should be taken out of Congress by the people of Nevada during this next elections.

    April 18, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. Me

    Let's ask what stake Harry Reid and his son has in it. Rumors say its hurting "his" bottom line, not the gov'ts. Lets look at chinese solar money first.

    April 18, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. Luckjoe

    Typical Harry Reid. He should sit and shut it.

    April 18, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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