Land-rights activist Cliven Bundy attended a question-and-answer session held by Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul in Nevada on Monday, according to news reports.
Bundy is in a long-running standoff with the federal government over grazing fees, and made national headlines when armed supporters flocked to his ranch in April 2014. Republican officials, some of whom expressed sympathy with Bundy's cause, distanced themselves after the rancher made incendiary comments about African-Americans.
That included Paul, a Kentucky senator, who said that Bundy's musings about whether African-Americans would be “better off as slaves” were “offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him.”
On Monday, Paul discussed public land control with a group of about 50 attendees in the early-voting state, according to the Associated Press. “I think almost all land use issues and animal issues, endangered species issues, ought to be handled at the state level,” he said, according to the newswire. “I think that the government shouldn't interfere with state decisions, so if a state decides to have medical marijuana or something like that, it should be respected as a state decision.”
For his part, Bundy said, “In general, I think we're in tune with each other,” according to the AP. “I don't think we need to ask Washington, D.C. for this land. It's our land,” he added.
CNN reported that Paul and his campaign declined to answer questions about Bundy at a campaign event later Monday in Las Vegas.