"Prominent Republicans and conservative news media outlets rallied in recent weeks around the cause of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, whose armed standoff with authorities over grazing rights on federal land had made him an instant folk hero on the right. But Bundy’s GOP defenders, including Sens. Dean Heller (Nev.) and Rand Paul (Ky.), rapidly abandoned him on Thursday following reports of incendiary remarks that the white rancher made about minorities. Bundy wondered aloud whether blacks would be better off as slaves picking cotton, and alleged that people of color are 'against us.'
The controversy marks another major headache for establishment Republicans working to build better relationships with blacks and Hispanics — crucial voting blocs that have increasingly supported Democrats in recent elections. The GOP is in the midst of a messaging tour aimed at reintroducing the party to minority voters, including lawmaker visits to minority neighborhoods and to historically black colleges."