Rand Paul and Sean Hannity had no business apologizing for their support of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy after he made racist remarks, C. Edmund Wright, a communications director with the 1992 Bush-Quayle campaign, says.
Wright told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV Friday that Bundy's controversial remarks about African-Americans should not cloud the real issue at hand: his battle against the federal government over land rights.
He is disappointed the Kentucky senator and the conservative talk-show host apologized, after initially supporting Bundy's cause.
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"This is not about Cliven Bundy. This is about, what is the [Bureau of Land Management], and why do they control one-eighth of the country? Why do they control 85 percent of Nevada?'' said Wright, a national columnist.
"The pros and cons of Bundy was never the story, and shame on Sean Hannity and Rand Paul for falling for this, shame on them for apologizing."
Bundy wondered during an interview about whether "the Negro" fared better under slavery.
"They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton," he told reporters, according to The New York Times.
"And I've often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn't get no more freedom. They got less freedom."
Wright told Malzberg on Friday: "It was never about Bundy's racism or anything. It wasn't even about technically the real merits of his case.
"It's about, why does our federal government own this much property that they can dole out for usages to their cronies? It's absurd."
Both Paul and Hannity quickly distanced themselves from Bundy after the flap.
"His remarks on race are offensive, and I wholeheartedly disagree with him," Paul said.
Hannity said: "I believe those comments are downright racist. They are repugnant. They are bigoted. And it's beyond disturbing. I find those comments to be deplorable …"
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