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. Chris Asking Question

    A liberal calling fellow Americans "domestic terrorists"? Wow!

    April 17, 2014 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  2. jbyork

    One man's domestic terrorist is another man's patriot. Our country was founded by a rowdy bunch of tax evaders, and it's worthwhile to remember that just because the federal government claims a right to do something doesn't mean that they have a right to do it - or that they are right in what they do. Harry Reid should clean out his desk and start circling want ads.

    April 17, 2014 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  3. OldSchool

    Time to go collect the fees...

    April 17, 2014 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  4. Harry Reid

    Yes lay down your weapons and surrender to us. We are the leaders and you will follow. Do you understand?

    April 17, 2014 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  5. T Witmer

    Can we stop Harry Reid from bashing everyone that doesn't think his way?? All he does is bash and blame.

    April 17, 2014 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  6. musings

    Harry Reid must realize that by calling supporters of a rancher "domestic terrorists" for exercising their rights of protest is throwing the Constitution out the window and We the People under the bus. He knows how the law stands – like a sword of Damocles over each of us – the USA Patriot Act, the destruction of the right to habeas corpus, all those other things done abroad to enemy combatants, now applicable. He put it there, he and the other money-swilling, oligarch-backed members of the US Congress. I wouldn't be Harry Reid from now on, because he has called out forces whose response he cannot begin to imagine.

    April 17, 2014 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  7. Kyuuji

    I bet he does. How DARE they defy their masters!

    April 17, 2014 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  8. Pete

    Cliven Bundy is nothing more than a selfish criminal stealing from all of us. Get him off OUR land and throw him in jail.

    April 17, 2014 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  9. MNConn

    So send paramilitary in to intimidate a family that is one of the rocks this nation was built on while leaving the border open to illegals. This administration has no respect for nor follows the "laws of the land". Why should we respect the law when our leaders don't.

    April 17, 2014 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  10. Jimh77

    Does this guy ever stop? There are Terrorists in the Whitehouse, what's he say about that?

    April 17, 2014 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  11. Steve

    Conservatives here defending Bundy's use of Public land.....saying it is overreach for Government to decide what it wants to do with its Public land

    will have yet another chance next week to show that they actually care about Ranchers and Land owners rights

    April 22-27 a group of ranchers, farmers and tribal communities from along the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline route, called the Cowboy Indian Alliance, will ride into Washington DC and set up camp near the White House to tell President Obama to reject the pipeline.

    115 landowners...25% of those in the proposed route are refusing to sign easements with TransCanada

    So lets see if how many of you will respect these PRIVATE landowners rights

    And unlike Bundy....we ask you to do so legally and peacefully
    No need to arm yourself

    April 17, 2014 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  12. yippeeskip

    Sounds like some heavy $$$ is at stake...or Harry wouldn't even take the time.

    April 17, 2014 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  13. JR

    Mr Reid is a typical irresponsible, flippant short-sited reactionary... It's absurd that he would so foolishly name call... He should apologize... He should be voted out of office

    April 17, 2014 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  14. conoclast

    We all know there are those groups in this country that are armed and are self-declared enemies of the government-and are just ITCHING for a fight. Any fight or cause will do for these Rambo wanna-be's; they're not particular as long as it involves the evil feds.

    We should learn from these people!

    April 17, 2014 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  15. Patrick

    How incredibly sad for America that such an inept and foolish individual can rise to the position of Senate Majority Leader.

    April 17, 2014 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  16. Bill Clay

    This rancher is like most Tea Party members – a deadbeat who doesn't want to pay his taxes but enjoys all the benefits that the rest of us paying taxes provide to them free of charge.

    April 17, 2014 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  17. Afterburner

    We need to stop these homegrown "Domestic Terrorists"!!,. "Domestic Terrorists", If only King George the III has such an appropriate catch phrase to label those damnable cargo vandals who tore open the tea chests on the East Indian Company's Ships in Boston Harbor. Those domestic terrorists not only broke the law by committing theft and vandalism, they broke the law by refusing to pay the British Colonial duty on the tea, They were breaking the law! Look, we have to be honest here, The Townshend duties were paid by other good British Americans, it just wasn't fair, you can't just have Americans break the law and let them get away with it, why did that minority of traitors think they were so special when other American British Colonist did their loyal duty?!

    If only Sir Harry Reid were the Mayor of Boston back in 1773, by golly we would have gotten to the bottom of that in a hurry! Sir Reid and son would have had the Royal 23rd Dragoons go after that little band of welfare T.P. Terrorists and they would have snuffed them out and it would have served as a good example to all the other rebel American Colonial terrorists! Imagine how perfect it would be had Sir Reid and son with the Royal 23rd Dragoons been released to put law and order in place,..right now we would be speaking with proper English Accents, our society would not have lost the beautiful colour of proper social class separation, proper spelling and laws would still stand and our Royal family would still grace our government, God save her Majesty,... those traitors! Rebellious American terrorist were only a thuggish minority amounting to less than a 3rd ,..all other patriotic British Americans accepted Parliament's right of taxation,..but these "Bubbas" had been enjoying the protection and care of the British Army and Navy, and yet for over 20 years these terrorists had been resisting paying for it through Tax,.and they had plenty of representatives in England,..don't let that sob story of taxation only through representation non-sense fool you!

    April 17, 2014 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  18. Cam

    Seriously??? Harry Reid is calling 50% of his constituents terrorist? Shameful.

    April 17, 2014 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  19. Lonnie adkins

    Please vote this guy out...he and other Democrat commies are fanning the flames of civil unrest in this country, it will happen if we stay this course. All trust in government is lost. These are the darkest days the people have even seen in the history of this nation, the government is not trustworthy and will bring large pockets of unrest. Once then government starts bribing people with their own money, that's when democracy starts to crumble, we are a republic not a democracy, look up the difference.

    April 17, 2014 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  20. Ty

    That's ok Mr Reid; since you support this government strong arming of will not be receiving a vote from this registered democrat next time your chair comes up for vote.

    April 17, 2014 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  21. Chuck

    OMG!! Reid is one to talk. How much money has he made as a "public servant".

    April 17, 2014 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  22. ED1

    Might be to much government where it doesn't belong again.

    April 17, 2014 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  23. kdliz

    What a hypocritical accusation, Mr. Reid has made! How many of the current appointees had tax issues to settle before they could take office and hold authority in this present administration?

    April 17, 2014 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  24. S. B. Stein

    If this rancher didn't agree with the rule change, did he have it challenged? If he, or his agents, didn't challenge it, then he owes the money.

    April 17, 2014 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  25. Martha in CF

    It is shameful what is happening with this rancher. Then you have Sean Hannity mouthing off and making the rancher think it is ok what he is doing. Hannity should be brought before the judge and tried along with the rancher....

    April 17, 2014 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
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