Author Topic: Republican presidential hopefuls steer clear of Nevada ranch fight  (Read 319 times)

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http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/203730-gop-stars-steer-clear-of-nevada-ranch-fight

April 17, 2014, 06:00 am
Republican presidential hopefuls steer clear of Nevada ranch fight

By Timothy Cama

GOP presidential hopefuls are largely steering clear of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s fight with the federal government.

The showdown, which left armed militia members and feds staring each other down last week, has captivated talk radio and cable news shows, turning Bundy into a conservative cause célèbre.

Yet Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and former Arkansas Governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee are the only big-name GOP stars to have spoken out on the dispute so far.

Tea Party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been silent, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have also not commented on Bundy, who has been fighting the federal government in and out of court for more than 20 years over his refusal to pay grazing fees.

All three offices did not respond to calls for this story.

GOP strategists suggested that Bundy’s case is far too risky for most candidates eyeing the presidency, particularly given the possibility of armed conflict with federal police.

“The Republican Party’s very sympathetic to Cliven Bundy’s property rights, states’ rights argument,” said strategist Ford O’Connell, who worked on John McCain’s 2008 campaign. “But many Republicans also prize the rule of law above all else. Right or wrong, Bundy had his day in court and lost.”

Matt Mackowiak, who has worked on various Capitol Hill campaigns and as a congressional press secretary, agreed that candidates have good reason to be cautious in the Bundy dispute.

“If you don’t know the person, and you haven’t followed the situation closely, all you do is you look at the situation and see risk,” Mackowiak said.

Still, Bundy’s arguments and the battle on his ranch feed into a strain of the GOP worried about what it sees as a growing incursion by an increasingly armed federal government.

The federal government is “treating this thing like it’s more serious than the Russian situation or Benghazi or other things,” Mackowiak said.

Paul seemed to be reaching out to this audience with his comments on the dispute, which centered on armed federal agencies.

Paul criticized Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) accusation that Bundy is trying to get away with breaking the law.

“I think there’s an opposite thing to what Harry Reid said, and that’s the federal government shouldn’t violate the law, nor should we have 48 federal agencies carrying weapons and having SWAT teams,” Paul said.

Huckabee, a 2008 GOP presidential candidate, offered similar thoughts when he weighed in on the issue last week in comments in New Hampshire.

“I’m not here to jump in on the middle of whether Cliven Bundy ought to pay the state or pay anybody for the chance for his cows to eat some grass,” Huckabee said. “Here’s what I would suggest: that there is something incredibly 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.”

Paul has a libertarian bent to his politics, and he’s repeatedly taken on issues that make the Bundy fight work better for him than others, O’Connell said.

Paul’s famous Senate filibuster, for example, was on U.S. drones, and centered on the question of the administration using drones to take out U.S. citizens overseas and in the country.

But side with Bundy too much, and a candidate risks turning off all those voters in the center that they’ll ultimately need to attract in a general election.

“It fits very nicely within the ethos that Rand Paul has,” O’Connell said of the Bundy ranch fight. “But the difficulty that Paul’s going to have in terms of winning the nomination is taking that libertarian, constitutional thinking, and showing how you can govern a nation with it.”

Radio show host Glenn Beck this week criticized the violent tone of the protesters.

“I don’t know who these people are. They all might be great. But here they are … they’re enraged,” Beck said Monday on his show. “We condemn those who use violence. Inciting violence doesn't solve anything.”

Mackowiak also agreed that Republicans don’t want to be seen as supporting someone who so blatantly disregards the law. “You can’t run for president and endorse lawlessness,” he said.

 

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Offline katzenjammer

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Re: Republican presidential hopefuls steer clear of Nevada ranch fight
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 09:43:53 AM »
Quote
“It fits very nicely within the ethos that Rand Paul has,” O’Connell said of the Bundy ranch fight. “But the difficulty that Paul’s going to have in terms of winning the nomination is taking that libertarian, constitutional thinking, and showing how you can govern a nation with it.

Just let that comment settle in....

Offline Oceander

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Re: Republican presidential hopefuls steer clear of Nevada ranch fight
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 01:41:40 PM »
I fail to see how Bundy fits with a constitutional framework.  Bundy is in flagrant violation of constitutional laws and constitutional court orders, and a constitutional approach is to insist that he, just like everyone else, follow the law.

Offline flowers

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Re: Republican presidential hopefuls steer clear of Nevada ranch fight
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2014, 02:48:54 PM »
I fail to see how Bundy fits with a constitutional framework.  Bundy is in flagrant violation of constitutional laws and constitutional court orders, and a constitutional approach is to insist that he, just like everyone else, follow the law.
I agree.


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Re: Republican presidential hopefuls steer clear of Nevada ranch fight
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2014, 03:53:27 PM »
The center-right is split on this. But I can safely suggest--

Bundy is partly in the wrong, so is a federal government willing to risk lives and spend money to bring this to a head.

There is absolutely no justification for the federal government to hoard so much land in the first place. Sell it or lease it for useful purposes, and that doesn't mean tortoise preservation.

But a mission by the federal government to drive ranchers out of business, intentional or not, is an outrage.
"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.”

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Offline olde north church

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Re: Republican presidential hopefuls steer clear of Nevada ranch fight
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2014, 07:37:10 AM »
Color me surprised.   **nononono*
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline Chieftain

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Re: Republican presidential hopefuls steer clear of Nevada ranch fight
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2014, 05:41:09 PM »
I fail to see how Bundy fits with a constitutional framework.  Bundy is in flagrant violation of constitutional laws and constitutional court orders, and a constitutional approach is to insist that he, just like everyone else, follow the law.

And that authorizes BLM to set up frickin' snipers on these people??  This is worth shooting American Citizens over??

You miss the point.



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