Cruz: Oregon militia should “stand down peaceably”; Update: WH: Hey, this is a local matter

posted at 2:01 pm on January 4, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

When the Bundys seized an unmanned, remote federal outpost in rural Oregon to protest policies by the Bureau of Land Management and the re-imprisonment of two ranchers, the media demanded answers from Republican presidential candidates. Do they endorse the action of Ammon Bundy, his family and friends, in armed protest? Curiously, few reporters seem interested in determining whether Hillary Clinton endorses traffic blockages and other illegal demonstrations staged by Black Lives Matters organizers, but at least Ted Cruz was willing to answer the question. And the answer is … hell, no:

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz on Monday called for armed protesters who occupied a federal building in Oregon to “stand down peaceably.”

“Every one of us has a constitutional right to protest, to speak our minds,” Cruz told reporters in Iowa. “But we don’t have a constitutional right to use force and violence and to threaten force and violence against others. So it is our hope that the protesters there will stand down peaceably, that there will not be a violent confrontation.”

Cruz added that “our prayers” are with members of law enforcement addressing the standoff, which started Saturday after a group of protesters seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters.

Cruz’ archrival for the nomination concurs. In a separate interview, Marco Rubio said BLM policies have to be changed, but not by being “lawless”:

“Let me just say, first of all, you’ve got to follow the law,” the Florida senator and Republican presidential candidate said on Iowa radio station KBUR Monday morning. “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.”

Rubio said that he did agree, however, that the federal government did control too much land in western states.

“And I agree that there is too much federal control over land especially out in the western part of the United States,” he continued. “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. We are a nation laws, we should follow those laws and they should be respected.”

It’s a silly question and a product of the media’s insistence on making Republicans answer for fringe elements in a way that rarely gets applied to Democrats. It’s making much more of this supposed standoff than it really is. A better answer to this would be to make note of how small and inconsequential the situation is at the moment, and how the media hysteria over this protest is actually feeding into the Bundys’ hype about it.

Still, if Cruz and Rubio felt compelled to answer the question on its merits, they gave good answers in both cases. It makes clear that this is indeed a fringe element in a local context, and one that actually may detract from the ability to change the policies they are protesting in the long run. And now that they’ve answered those questions, perhaps we can get Hillary Clinton on the record over the other #BLM blocking holiday traffic in Minneapolis at the airport and in the Mall of America. After all, she has met with the movement’s leadership on occasion in order to further her presidential ambitions, something neither Cruz nor Rubio have done with the Bundys. Shouldn’t we get an answer from her about their tactics now? Or is the sauce only good for the gander?

Update: Perhaps someone at the White House needs to do a wee bit more research on this:

Spokesman Josh Earnest’s comments come even though the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has taken charge of the response to the incident along with state and local agencies.

“Ultimately this is a local law enforcement matter and the FBI is monitoring the situation and offering support to local law enforcement officials,” Earnest said.

The spokesman added that President Obama is “aware” of the situation and said there are no federal employees at risk.

Actually, it’s not a local law enforcement issue, although I’d bet the FBI and White House wish it was. The larger reservation on which the federal facility sits is the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, created by a Teddy Roosevelt executive order in 1908.  If the Bundy group is breaking the law on federal property, the jurisdiction properly belongs to federal law enforcement, not local police. Or has the Obama administration ceded the facility to the state of Oregon?


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Comments

For all you and others here pretend otherwise, when protesters in Baltimore turned to vandalism and looting, Obama called them thugs and lawbreakers.

verbaluce on January 4, 2016 at 5:01 PM

Do you have links to that? I bet I can easily find links to Obama calling for being understanding of the people who torched and looted Ferguson.

GrumpyOldFart on January 4, 2016 at 5:13 PM

Yes, I do.

verbaluce on January 4, 2016 at 5:16 PM

For all you and others here pretend otherwise, when protesters in Baltimore turned to vandalism and looting, Obama called them thugs and lawbreakers.

verbaluce on January 4, 2016 at 5:01 PM

Do you have links to that? I bet I can easily find links to Obama calling for being understanding of the people who torched and looted Ferguson.

GrumpyOldFart on January 4, 2016 at 5:13 PM

Shouldn’t all the BLM arsonists get a mandatory minimum five years given that BLM is a terrorists movement and the ranchers really weren’t? HAs anyone even been indicted for all the buildings that BLM burned? You can argue about the Bundy’s being domestic terrorist (although not very effective ones), but not the original ranchers getting 5 years minimum sentence for a controlled burn.

There’s no reason for anyone to do anything about the Bundy’s. They are not in the way and there is a nice cold winter coming. Cut the power to the building. Let them enjoy the space.

talkingpoints on January 4, 2016 at 5:23 PM

William Eaton on January 4, 2016 at 5:02 PM

Hey Billy-boy. Take a deep breath or another swig of something strong and flip your humor switch to “on.” You’re wound up like a cheap Swiss clock.

Walter L. Newton on January 4, 2016 at 5:26 PM

Yes, I do.

verbaluce on January 4, 2016 at 5:16 PM

And these defusing Obama quotes too:

“and when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together, federal, state and local, to figure out how this tragedy happened.”

Mr. Obama said he is glad the Justice Department is investigating the shooting and that Florida Gov. Rick Scott formed a task force in response to the incident as well. The president suggested he was sympathetic to suspicion that the shooting may have been racially motivated.

“You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Mr. Obama said.

“Now, I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that,” Mr. Obama continued. “But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.”

verbsareloose, you really are such a myopic hypocrite.

Neitherleftorright on January 4, 2016 at 5:30 PM

The Bundy’s taking over a building in a Federal Wildlife Refuge is not exactly the jumping off place for a revolution.

fight like a girl on January 4, 2016 at 5:04 PM

I do agreed about that. What they did do was to draw attention to a bunch of BS being done by the feds that otherwise would of only been seen in some ag papers.

wifarmboy on January 4, 2016 at 5:30 PM

Just trying this for a third time, now:

Does anyone know of specific demands of the militia peeps other than “restore the rights to people so they can use the land and resources“?

CivilDiscourse on January 4, 2016 at 4:07 PM

I’d really like to know.

CivilDiscourse on January 4, 2016 at 4:30 PM

Yup. If you want to call the Bundys domestic terrorists, fine, but they totally suck at being terrorists. Occupy an uninhabited building in the middle of nowhere in the winter with no real demands.

If ISIS or Al-Qaeda or Boko Haram or the Taliban were terrorists like the Bundys, Obama could defeat them.

talkingpoints on January 4, 2016 at 5:32 PM

“Every one of us has a constitutional right to protest, to speak our minds,” Cruz told reporters in Iowa. “But we don’t have a constitutional right to use force and violence and to threaten force and violence against others. So it is our hope that the protesters there will stand down peaceably, that there will not be a violent confrontation.”

Straw man, Tedster. None of them have used violence or threatened violence.

fossten on January 4, 2016 at 2:08 PM

No doubt, Cruz made the age old mistake of accepting the far left narrative. Stand down, means there is a stand off, and there isn’t.

cimbri on January 4, 2016 at 5:32 PM

The ‘let’s make everything all about Obama!’ screeching around here would never allow for a sober and reasoned assessment of the WHs response here.

Yes, it is Hot Air that wants to make everything about Obama. He certainly didn’t claim that his mere nomination would heal the earth and calm the seas, or decide to interpose himself into nearly every high-profile shooting, riot, or police tactics issue in the media, but only if there was a racial aspect that could be projected onto it.

Now the correct response here is to take a break from Obama bashing and offer support for the rule of law

The rule of law says that an assault on federal land is a federal crime to be resolved by federal marshals. If you truly want the rule of law to win the day here, you would join people in criticizing the painting of this as a ‘local issue’.

For all you and others here pretend otherwise, when protesters in Baltimore turned to vandalism and looting, Obama called them thugs and lawbreakers.

verbaluce on January 4, 2016 at 5:01 PM

Obama: And one burning building will be looped on television over and over and over again, and the thousands of demonstrators who did it the right way I think have been lost in the discussion.

Four weeks hence: WJZ media partner The Baltimore Sun reports 35 people have been killed so far in May making it the deadliest month in Baltimore since December of 1999. Some say the 3-day surge of violence may be a sign of a police department stretched too thin…

Since the beginning of the year, 108 people have died due to violence in the city. So far none of the victims have been identified and no arrests have been made. If you have information on any of these shootings you’re urged to contact police.

The Schaef on January 4, 2016 at 5:38 PM

“Oregon militia ….”

I am SO sick and tired of seeing this.

What militia? Do they belong to the National Guard and are acting on it’s behalf? No? Do they belong to some self-styled militia and are acting on it’s behalf? I haven’t heard such. Is any self-styled militia group claiming responsibility for this? Did they plan it? Are they running it? No? No? Then why are these guys repeatedly described as a “militia”?

By what journalistic standards (I know, an oxymoron) are these fools being described as a militia? “Militia” does not equal “bunch of white guys with guns”. A militia has an organization. It has officers and ranks and procedures. What militia is involved here? What is it’s name? What is their role here?

RonF on January 4, 2016 at 5:50 PM

Cruz is the only candidate that has pledged to return BLM land to the states and he has been fighting federal takeover of land. I really wish some of you people would research something before you go off half cocked and make fools of yourselves.
http://www.inquisitr.com/1230682/ted-cruz-says-blm-needs-to-sell-land-not-grab-more/

fight like a girl on January 4, 2016 at 4:50 PM

Sorry! I was just reacting to what Cruz just said in this video is all.

I like Cruz for president, but I didn’t like what he said in this particular clip.

Sherman1864 on January 4, 2016 at 6:13 PM

When the Supreme Court creates a tax law that was not passed by Congress or signed by the President and when the President declares illegal aliens to be legal, THERE IS NO RULE OF LAW.

Ceteris Paribus on January 4, 2016 at 6:21 PM

In re:, the Geraghty blurb quoted several times in the thread, he and Jonah Goldberg are the main reason why I let my subscription to National Review lapse. It is NOT the magazine I first subscribed to in the sixties. So far as I’m concerned that whole limp-wristed, white loafer crew at NR can just ESaD!

meerbock on January 4, 2016 at 6:29 PM

First, the MSM not asking about BLM actions when talking with Hillary is a good point.

The militia is screwing up because they stopped history when they took over the refuge. The issue is the BLM’s DECADES long abuse of local farmers and ranchers. If Hotair took the time and effort, they could look into the inner sanctum of the BLM and identify the ideologues within the agency that is basically driving the people off the land. The goal is to “seize and freeze” the land forever. Many believe that people are viruses and infect the earth. That Sierra Club nonsense.

Cruz is an idiot when it comes to the law in this case. It is an open historical record- one that will be ignored by the MSM now because of the militia’s actions- that the BLM harassed the Hammonds and changed the laws UNTIL the Hammonds broke one. Was it illegal to set back fires in 1950? Probably not and probably done all the time with the help of the BLM. But times have changed.

What I consider illegal, but a horrible example, is how the government, dissatisfied with a federal judge’s ruling, went to the 9th and reversed the judgement, saying the judge erred. The Hammonds had served their legal sentence. If the prosecutors had a problem with the judge they should take it up with him, not re-jail the Hammonds.

Imagine if the federal prosecutors did that to some black protester or hero of the movement! Streets would burn.

Cruz needs to point out the federal abuse in this case, and so should Trump.

archer52 on January 4, 2016 at 6:33 PM

What I consider illegal, but a horrible example, is how the government, dissatisfied with a federal judge’s ruling, went to the 9th and reversed the judgement, saying the judge erred. The Hammonds had served their legal sentence. If the prosecutors had a problem with the judge they should take it up with him, not re-jail the Hammonds.

Just a small point. The US appealed the decision as soon as it was made. It’s just that the decision to re-sentence the Hammonds came down after they were released. I think the US wanted to create a bigger deterrent to mass burnings than just a several months long sentence.

cimbri on January 4, 2016 at 7:08 PM

Rubio & Cruz the Grand Old Panzies. Who needs Democrats with these two

Brock Robamney on January 4, 2016 at 7:23 PM

Just a small point. The US appealed the decision as soon as it was made. It’s just that the decision to re-sentence the Hammonds came down after they were released. I think the US wanted to create a bigger deterrent to mass burnings than just a several months long sentence.

cimbri on January 4, 2016 at 7:08 PM

Nothing like a little Double Jeopardy to shred any semblance of Juris Prudence

Brock Robamney on January 4, 2016 at 7:34 PM

Cruz just endorsed by the Oregon Tea Party. Imagine that!

https://www.facebook.com/OregonTeaParty/posts/10153367348168581:0

fight like a girl on January 4, 2016 at 7:53 PM

Figured out who Gary is yet?

HornetSting on January 4, 2016 at 3:14 PM

No. Who is it ?

jaime on January 4, 2016 at 3:53 PM

She’s fishy. I checked out her twitter and apparently, she’s moved from Cruz on to Trump. Her bunny boiling obsession for Trump makes her love affair with Romney look like a flavor of the week.
The constant hammering of the same point over and over again, thread after thread, is somewhat obvious.

HornetSting on January 4, 2016 at 8:04 PM

Cruz is completely wrong on this.

This case is about cruel and unusual punishment plus an over-reaching/bullying Big Gov attacking ranchers.

Cruz also talks like local cops are in danger when he says “prayers for law enforcment”, duh, this is FEDS here not some boys in blue.

Two links I found informative:

http://www.tsln.com/news/18837869-113/where-theres-smoke

http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/04/ammon-bundy-us-attorney-threatened-hammonds-with-less-desirable-prison/

Aslans Girl on January 4, 2016 at 8:12 PM

She’s fishy. I checked out her twitter and apparently, she’s moved from Cruz on to Trump. Her bunny boiling obsession for Trump makes her love affair with Romney look like a flavor of the week.
The constant hammering of the same point over and over again, thread after thread, is somewhat obvious.

HornetSting on January 4, 2016 at 8:04 PM

Sorta like Happy Nomad, amirite?

fossten on January 4, 2016 at 9:59 PM

Marco Rubio said BLM policies have to be changed, but not by being “lawless”

Well, when the gov’t is essentially lawless, what are we, the citizens, to do?

Or has the Obama administration ceded the facility to the state of Oregon?

Like they’ve ceded everything else?

GWB on January 5, 2016 at 8:09 AM

Cruz is completely wrong on this.

This case is about cruel and unusual punishment plus an over-reaching/bullying Big Gov attacking ranchers.

Cruz also talks like local cops are in danger when he says “prayers for law enforcment”, duh, this is FEDS here not some boys in blue.

Aslans Girl on January 4, 2016 at 8:12 PM

He may be somewhat wrong or his intentions misplaced, but not completely wrong.

As for you prayers for law enforcement are not the FBI law enforcement as well as the local sheriff who is also involved. (No boys in blue as there are no city police nearby.)

Not sure what the reason is for your animosity toward Cruz.

Neitherleftorright on January 5, 2016 at 12:29 PM