According to the New York Times, Bundy made these comments at one of his press briefings:
But if the federal government has moved on, Mr. Bundy — a father of 14 and a registered Republican — has not.
He said he would continue holding a daily news conference; on Saturday, it drew one reporter and one photographer, so Mr. Bundy used the time to officiate at what was in effect a town meeting with supporters, discussing, in a long, loping discourse, the prevalence of abortion, the abuses of welfare and his views on race.
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.
“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
Now Rand Paul and Republican Dean Heller are backing away:
Republican Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Dean Heller (Nev.) sharply criticized comments from Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy about African Americans, calling the comments racist and offensive.
“His remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him,” Paul said in a statement Thursday shortly after the Times published its story.
A Heller spokesman said the senator “disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way.”
Both senators have previously defended Bundy in his dispute against the Bureau of Land Management, which has accused the rancher of using federal land to graze his cattle for decades without paying fees. Paul criticized the federal government’s handling of the dispute, while Heller has referring to Bundy’s supporters as patriots.
There may be people willing to stand with Bundy despite his comments, but in this politically divisive environment it won’t be politicians.