Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 10:10 a.m.
Rancher Cliven Bundy’s racist comment in a New York Times story has drawn rebukes from opponents and prompted some Republicans to distance themselves. But Bundy’s strongest supporters said they remain committed to battling the Bureau of Land Management.
Nevada Republican U.S. Sen. Dean Heller called Bundy’s supporters "patriots" during a TV interview last week. But in the Times’ story, his spokeswoman, Chandler Smith, said that Heller "completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way."
Sen. Harry Reid, majority leader and a Nevada Democrat, called on Republicans to condemn Bundy in a statement: "This is not a game. It is the height of irresponsibility for any individual or entity in a position of power or influence to glorify or romanticize such a dangerous individual, and anyone who has done so should come to their senses and immediately condemn Bundy."
Rep. Steven Horsford, a Nevada Democrat whose district includes Bundy’s Bunkerville ranch, said: "Cliven Bundy's remarks are truly hateful. His despicable comments about 'the Negro' belong in the dustbin of history."
Media Matters for America, a liberal media organization, posted video of Bundy's comments.
On the Bundy Ranch Facebook page, the family said Bundy’s statements were taken out of context: "There are new rumors going around about Cliven. We all know that with the media, words are taken out of context, meanings are twisted, and they can take anything and turn it into what they want it to be. Cliven is a good man, he loves all people, he is not a racist man. He wants what is best for everyone."
State Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, who has been one of the most outspoken elected leaders supporting Bundy, said in a statement: "I strongly disagree with Cliven Bundy’s comments about slavery. Mr. Bundy has said things I don’t agree with; however, we cannot let this divert our attention from the true issue of the atrocities BLM committed by harming our public land and the animals living on it."