Senators and Conservative Supporters Back off Bundy After Racist Remarks
Just recently, the Tea Party darling Sen. Ted Cruz joined the ranks of conservative officials who’ve supported Cliven Bundy’s illegal opposition to government efforts to collect on the more than $1 million he owes in back grazing fees. However, in light of his recent comments about whether or not black Americans were better off as slaves, his political supporters are back-pedaling like crazy to distance themselves from him.
Despite having video of Bundy making the controversial quote, Bundy’s supporters (at least those behind his Facebook page) wrote Thursday, “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.” They go on to say Bundy is “a good man,” not racist, and is someone who “wants what is best for everyone.” Well, everyone other than those in the federal government it seems.
According to Mediaite.com, a number of his more public supporters are denouncing the comments and distancing not only themselves but the entire issue away from Bundy. Where before he was a cowboy hat-wearin’, flag-wavin’ patriot, now Bundy is simply “a man” who is “secondary” to the real issue of federal encroachment on liberties.
So less than 24 hours after blaming President Obama for the Bundy situation, Sen. Cruz’s press secretary denounced Bundy’s racial comments. Nevada Senator Dean Heller called the Bundys “patriots,” but (through a spokesperson) denounced the statements calling them “appalling and racist” and condemning them “in the most strenuous way.” While Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky didn’t exactly support Bundy, he didn’t denounce him either, instead spinning the issue to government overreach. However, the denunciation came today with a statement saying that Bundy’s comments “on race were offensive and [Sen. Paul] wholeheartedly disagrees with them.”
While this is only speculation, it is very possible that none of these elected officials actually gave a fig about Bundy or his claim. What they were hoping to do was capture the attention of the zeitgeist and come out on the side of “liberty” versus “big government,” which to Republicans is only abhorrent when a Democrat is in office. Yet, because Cliven Bundy is a real live crank without the benefits of a press secretary or media coach, his “real talk” Exposes a side of their base that these politicians want to keep under wraps.