One year ago, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy became something of an icon to conservatives and members of the militia movement after he led supporters in a seemingly successful standoff against local law enforcement and agents from the federal Bureau of Land Management. The officials initially sought to impound his cattle because they said he owed over $US1 million in fees.
After celebrating the anniversary of the standoff last weekend, Bundy spoke to Business Insider on Wednesday and shared his thoughts on the occasion and the 2016 presidential race.
At least one of the candidates has already been invited to visit Bundy’s ranch — and he said all of the others are welcome.
Nevertheless, as of now, Bundy, who faced a backlash for racist comments he made at the height of his fame, said he’s not ready to back any of the likely presidential candidates.
“I haven’t got to that point,” Bundy explained. “I’m sure I’ll have a favourite, but I don’t have one at this point.”
There is one candidate Bundy said he’s not inclined to support — Democratic former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Well, you know, I’m not very excited about Hillary, so that would be about all I’d have to say about that at this point,” Bundy explained. “She’s the only one I’d rule out at this point.”
Still, Bundy indicated Clinton might be able to win him over as the election progresses.
“You can never tell, she might be the best one,” he said.
Bundy said all of the 2016 candidates, including Clinton, have an invitation to visit his ranch.
“It’s always open and I’d be excited — I don’t care who they are or what party,” Bundy said. “I’d be excited to meet with them and, you know, explain my lifestyle and business here, and of course, my political point of view.”
Bundy also said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), who was in Nevada last weekend, has already received an invitation to the ranch.
“I know that he had the invitation to come out and join us on this reunion of this standoff,” Bundy said of Paul. “Anyway, he didn’t make contact. Let’s put it that way.”
In the year since the standoff, officials have not commented on why they abandoned efforts to impound Bundy’s cattle and what they might do next. Bundy described his anniversary celebration as “a statement.”
“The statement is: We are still here and we’re stronger than ever,” he said. “I’m asked all the time, ‘What would happen if they come back?’ And my statement is always: When they have guts enough to do it, come on.”
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