After armed anti-government militia members, along with three of Cliven Bundy’s sons, took over a federal building in rural Oregon, the country is again watching another potential standoff, similar to the one that took place in Nevada.
The militia members have stated they no intentions of leaving the area they have now occupied.
However Cliven Bundy has reportedly been advising Steven and Dwight Hammond, the ranchers who are at the center of this bizarre takeover.
Last time, many Republicans threw in their support behind the elder Bundy, yet now, they’re remaining silent but this will surely come up during the presidential season.
As it happens, some of the current Republican Presidential candidates did weigh in on Cliven Bundy’s actions in Nevada, however, after Bundy was quoted saying African Americans are better off as slaves, they quickly distanced themselves.
Rand Paul was a strong supporter of Cliven Bundy’s.
Think Progress reports:
Sen. Paul was one of the earliest endorsers of Cliven Bundy, telling Fox News in 2014, “There is a legitimate constitutional question here about whether the state should be in charge of endangered species or whether the federal government should be.”
He rejected classifying Bundy and his gun-toting supporters as domestic terrorists, urging Sen. Harry Reid and others who used the term to “calm the rhetoric.”
In fact, Paul personally met with Bundy for about 45 minutes during a campaign stop last June.
Next on the list is Ted Cruz.
In April 2014, Cruz aligned himself with Bundy’s core complaint — government overreach — and called the standoff “the unfortunate and tragic culmination of the path that President Obama has set the federal government on.”
That’s right, Cruz blamed Obama. Of course he did.
Ben Carson also supported the Nevada rancher.
Carson was a vocal supporter of Bundy, saying he and the militia members who stood with him were “pretty upstanding people.” He also outlined a dystopian vision for the future that closely mirrors conspiracy theories embraced by branches of the radical right.
“But the fact of the matter is if you look back through history, what our government is doing is not unprecedented by any stretch of the imagination. It always starts like this, and freedom is not free — and there may come a time when people have to actually stand up against the government,” Carson said. “I hope that doesn’t happen.”
GOP front-runner Donald Trump sympathized with Bundy at the time.
While appearing on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show in April 2014, Trump expressed sympathy for Bundy, saying, “I like him, I like his spirit, his spunk and the people that are so loyal…I respect him.”
Next up: Mike Huckabee
“There is something wrong when a government believes that some blades of grass that a cow is eating is so…an egregious affront to the government of the United States that we would literally put a gun in a citizen’s face and threaten to shoot him over it,” Huckabee said, drawing applause from the crowd.
The only two candidates who criticized Bundy were Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.
“He is breaking the law… and the law ought to be enforced”, Jeb Bush said at the time.
“We’re a nation of laws,” Marco Rubio said. “No matter how worthy your cause may be, you cannot violate the law. If you don’t like the laws, we have a republic where you can change them, and in this instance, I’m not even sure what the change would be.”
“This idea that you can just violate the law with impunity is not something I support,” he added. “If we stop becoming a nation of laws — whether it’s on immigration or the use of lands — you begin to disintegrate as a republic and it undermines our whole system.”
Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.