Tags: Trump Administration | Ben Carson | GOP2016 | Marco Rubio | Ted Cruz | marco rubio | ted cruz

Rubio, Cruz, Carson, Santorum: Oregon Protesters Can't Be Lawless

Rubio, Cruz, Carson, Santorum: Oregon Protesters Can't Be Lawless
Ammon Bundy, one of the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, speaks with reporters during a news conference at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters Jan. 4, 2016, near Burns, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

By    |   Monday, 04 January 2016 04:53 PM

At least three Republican presidential candidates spoke out against the armed occupation in Oregon of the Malheur National Wildlife Reserve headquarters, saying that while the protesters have legitimate concerns, they cannot break the law.

"First of all, you've got to follow the law," Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told Iowa radio station KBUR on Monday. "You can't be lawless. We live in a republic. There are ways to change the laws of this country and the policies. If we get frustrated with it, that's why we have elections. That's why we have people we can hold accountable."




Militia members, led by Ammon Bundy, son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who had his own standoff with federal agents in 2014, are protesting the jailing of Oregon rancher Dwight Hammond, 73, and his son Steven, 46.

The Hammonds were convicted of setting fires on federal land, but reported to prison on Monday morning and have said they do not endorse the standoff.

Rubio said he agreed with the protesters that too much land is under federal control — especially in the Western states.

"There are states for example like Nevada that are dominated by the federal government in terms of land holding and we should fix it, but no one should be doing it in a way that's outside the law," Rubio said. "We are a nation laws. We should follow those laws and they should be respected."

Texas Sen. Cruz agreed, telling reporters on the campaign trail in Iowa, "Every one of us has the constitutional right to protest and speak our minds. But we don't have a constitutional right to use force and violence and to threaten force and violence on others."

Cruz said he hopes the protesters will stand down peaceably.

They have said they have no intention to be violent, but will defend themselves if they feel attacked by law enforcement.

"Our prayers are certainly with those in law enforcement that are risking their lives right now, that they be safe," Cruz said.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson urged looking at both sides of the issue.

"Why in fact do these ranchers feel that way? Let's hear their grievances," Carson told CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper." "I don't condone them taking over, you know, a federal building … We have better ways of expressing our displeasure than that."

But their grievances are legitimate and the federal government should not be claiming that much land, he said. He suggested gradually moving control back to state governments, which could then deal with the issue.

Still, Carson said, people should recognize the need for a federal government and respect it.

"We need to use their regular channels for dealing with the problems that are occurring," Carson said.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said he, too, disagrees with the tactics, likening the group to Occupy Wall Street, the left-wing group that set up camp in the streets of New York in 2011.

"This is a situation that has to be handled just like, unfortunately, they had to handle Occupy Wall Street," Santorum told CNN Newsroom. "You sit down, negotiate, you don't want to spark a confrontation."

The protesters in Oregon have legitimate grievances with the government, "just like you could make the argument Occupy Wall Street had grievances about income inequality."

Still, he said, there are consequences that have to be paid for people who do break the law.

"Going through a situation where someone is going to get hurt because of their protesting their government and the government's activity, that's not a good solution," Santorum said.

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At least three Republican presidential candidates spoke out against the armed occupation in Oregon of the Malheur National Wildlife Reserve headquarters, saying that while the protesters have legitimate concerns, they cannot break the law.
marco rubio, ted cruz, ben carson, rick santorum, oregon, militia
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2016-53-04
Monday, 04 January 2016 04:53 PM
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