"Be careful who you rally behind" is one major lesson after Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy started speaking his mind on "the negro."
In comments made to his supporters and picked up by The New York Times, Bundy said:
"I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro ... 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?" (Via Media Matters)
The Bundy Ranch Facebook page decided against issuing an apology opting instead for this statement, "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."
Now, if you're wondering who Cliven Bundy is, he was briefly the conservatives' newest "Joe the Plumber," the regular guy whose situation seemed to illustrate a conservative narrative.
Earlier this month, the federal government began rounding up Bundy's cattle, which he grazed on government land for years without paying fees. The Bundy family and hundreds more who supported them started protesting the confiscation, calling it government overreach. (Via NBC, CBS)
"We're exposing how you're government has gone absolutely wild. For weeks we've been covering the story of rancher Cliven Bundy in Nevada."
"I have a legal solution to this, I have a bill that I introduced last year." (Via Fox News)
"Senator Reid may call them domestic terrorists I call them Patriots." (Via KSNV)
And while his views on race relations don't have much to do with government overreach, those same politicians have been quick to condemn the rancher's latest comments.
Senator Rand Paul issued this tweet Thursday, calling Bundy's comments offensive.
And Senator Dean Heller released a statement saying he "completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements and condemns them in the most strenuous way." (Via Los Angeles Times)
But not all have left Bundy's side after the comments. Conservative Talk Radio host Dana Loesch says his comments come from a lack of media training. "I hope no one is surprised that an old man rancher isn’t media trained to express himself perfectly."
Thursday afternoon, Bundy held a press conference saying that he's not racist, and that he never said black people were better off as slaves. He was just wondering is all.