First, some background: Cliven Bundy is a Nevada rancher who has become an conservative icon due to a nationally publicized land dispute with the government. Politicians, including Senator and potential Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul, had latched onto Bundy's cause and publicly supported him.

Now, however, it looks like Bundy's true colors are coming out and Republicans are on the offensive. In piece reported by the New York Times on Wednesday, Bundy made a series comments that range from ignorant to explicitly racist. 

"I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro," he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, "and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn't have nothing to do. They didn't have nothing for their kids to do. They didn't have nothing for their young girls to do.
"And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?" he asked. "They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. 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."

While such comments are clearly unacceptable, it's not exactly a shock that Bundy thinks the way he does. Since the original comments, Sen. Paul has denounced Bundy and distanced himself from him. “His remarks on race are offensive, and I wholeheartedly disagree with him,” said Paul in a statement. Still, one has to wonder what Paul and other Republicans were thinking when they aligned themselves with this guy in the first place. 

[via the New York Times]

RELATED: Map Shows Where Racism Lives in America