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. Domestic Patriot

    The Domestic Terrorists are the Democrats running the U.S. Government ...remember Waco and Ruby Ridge. That is NOT going to happen again. Reid and his son need to have a rope put around their scrawny necks and experience western justice. They are corrupt evil people using their positions in government for personal gain.

    April 18, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. AlbaMN

    This same guy who wants to graze his cattle on our land for free probably complains about people on welfare taking our hard earned tax money.

    April 18, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. lilspenny

    I don't like a rich man getting away with using all this federal land for free and running up hundreds of grand in debt, when they arrest poor man for just sleeping on public grounds - even when the people are homeless with no where to sleep!! But terrorist is a little much too. Bundy and his posse started a rhetorical war of escalation and Reid shouldn't play that game. The government should just chill for a little bit – the area in question is remote and there will be a time when no protestors are even close to there. Then the gov. should round up the cattle, hold them, charge rent, and sell them if they don't get some payments from Bundy. Treat him like any tax cheat. No better, no worse. But don't start a civil war either.

    April 18, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. Mike Jamison

    Regardless of what you feel about Reid's tone and use of words, riddle me this. Why is Reid so concerned about a local Nevada rancher and some cattle eating grass?

    April 18, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. allthewhile

    If people really knew what 'terrorist' means, it wouldn't be used so scantly. Any time you feel terror because of someones actions, that person is a terrorist. A bully in school is a terrorist. A guy that pushes you, laughs at you, makes you feel afraid, is a terrorist. A guy like Reid is a terrorist for calling others terrorists. To the hundred or two thousand innocent who died in Iraq for a fake war, Cheney and his cronies are terrorists.

    Anyone can be called a terrorist. Let's stop listening to that word.

    What a lame word that holds no meaning in my book.

    April 18, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. nick

    The government is the domestic terrorist.

    April 18, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. Robert

    The Bundy's grazing rights should be grandfathered in because his family was there first.So if you are a true American you know deep down inside you don't mess with family.The feds can't change the rules knowing some of corruption is behind it.

    April 18, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. Mark

    How about letting someone cut down trees on federal land so they can get wood to make furniture and sell it. If that is not ok, this is not ok. If you own cattle, make sure you can feed them without stealing the feed from Uncle Sam. If you use property that does not belong to you, make sure you pay the owner properly for the rights. Seems pretty straight forward to me. Shame he can't get free feed for his business.......

    April 18, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. boarddog

    Harry Reid is a loud mouth who wants to take your rights and freedoms away. Go Bundy, family and friends!

    April 18, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. Hillary

    As a person who dropped eating meat with its killer fats, chemically induced growth hormones and anti-spoilage drugs, i say turn the whole damn thing into a wind/solar facility to make more electricity.

    April 18, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. Michael

    I don't know, I am sure there are facts in this matter that aren't making it into the newsfeed. Personally speaking however, if someone was trying to come along and seize my property, that had been in my family for more then a century, my response may have been much more lethal.

    April 18, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. Dimocratic Voter

    yeah right.... what does the crypt keeper really know beside finding ways to enrich himself, his familiy and assorted friends thru this position?

    April 18, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. scott

    .I always thought Harry seemed to be mentally ill.

    April 18, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. stephen douglas

    I have a thought about the tax accusation. If Mr. Bundy is willing, he should show his returns for the last five years IF Harry Reid will do the same. Fair is fair. If Reid is making this accusation, he should be willing to show what his tax situation is if Mr Bundy is willing to show and prove Reid to be wrong.

    Additionally, how is it we have millions and millions of law breaking illegal aliens in this country who receive aid of some sort everywhere they go with the blessing of Reid and the Dems, but a citizen of several generations warrants armed military and police to go and seize his property?

    I want the armed police and military to be on the border preventing more illegal aliens from coming into the country. I want the armed police and military to arrest and deport every illegal alien they find.

    But, let's go get Mr. Bundy instead because Reid and company won't lose nearly as many votes by going after one rancher with an issue with the government....

    April 18, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. DaveinIL

    Harry Reid is a senile old man who could be the poster child for increased research on dementia.

    April 18, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  16. CC333

    Senator Reid is the domestic terrorist using his political appointment for his continual antics. I wish he would spend his time actually accomplishing something good and getting along with his colleagues.

    April 18, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. Chance Novak

    Oh I get it, these ranchers and cowboys are terrorists but Ft. Hood (Phase I) was workplace violence. Glad you straightened that out for me, King Harry

    April 18, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. RA

    If you look at Ried's face you got to see stupid stamped all over it.

    April 18, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. fmorius

    The whole issue is over Reid trying to establish a lucrative contract with the Chinese for personal gain and this is being a temporary road block in his plans. However since he's a Democrat and since they are just ranchers, probably conservative too, and this will certainly attract militia-types and white supremacists, so the battle is already lost in the public eye. They will just sweep this under the rug as "domestic terrorism" the kind that isn't even remotely questioned when said "terrorists" are white.

    April 18, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. The right wing have lost their damned minds

    They are domestic terrorists!!!

    April 18, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. IAmMyKhakis

    This officially scares the crap out of me. The term "terrorism" is now being used to describe defying the federal government; and, to an extent, protesting government actions. To the best of my knowledge there have been no human casualties or violence regarding this "standoff". Both of which I was taught were the trademarks of "terrorism". In fact that IS the definition of terrorism: "the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal" (per Merriam-Webster's dictionary).
    Declaring it "domestic terrorism" roughly equates to accusing someone in Salem MA of witchcraft in 1692, and is wholly uncalled for. How is this acceptable?

    April 18, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. anonnomus

    The land in question has been used for grazing for centuries, and now the BLM is saying they can't use it for that anymore, and want $1MM? Seems to me the grass grows pretty much on its own, doesn't require seeding or mowing. Why do we want to charge for grazing?

    April 18, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. Nathan

    Why doesn't harry saddle up and show us how he would handle it. better yet take his crooked son and grand daughter with him. Lets see if they can get the whole lot of them at one time.

    April 18, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. Shaman13

    What this one – sided article omits is the fact that Harry Reid had a significant financial interest in getting that Bundy Ranch land as cheap as possible. He and his son are in bed with a Chinese company that wants to build a solar panel plant on that land. The man is corrupt to the core.

    April 18, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. Danette

    He just described many politicians. I wonder if Harry Reid would describe those that marched for Civil Rights as domestic terrorist?

    April 18, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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