Rancher Cliven Bundy, center, walks on stage to speak at a press conference near Bunkerville, Nev., on April 24, 2014.
John Locher/Las Vegas Review-Journal/AP

Cliven Bundy is leaving the Republican Party

Updated

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has decided to leave the Republican Party, according to the Associated Press.

Bundy registered with the Independent American Party at an event in Las Vegas on Friday. 

“I haven’t got much good out of the Democrats and Republicans so I decided to try a new one,” Bundy said, according to the Elko Daily Free Press.

The rancher became a bit of a conservative darling last month, drawing the praise of right-wing pundits and politicians alike after he made headlines for his dispute with the Bureau of Land Management over grazing his cattle on public land. Many of his conservative backers began distancing themselves from Bundy after remarks he made about “the Negro” in which he pondered about whether African-Americans might have been “better off as slaves” became public. 

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“The question is, are they slaves the way they are, where they live as slaves to the charity and government-subsidized homes, and are they slaves when their daughters are having abortions and their sons are in the prisons?” Bundy said in the off-the-cuff comments first reported by the New York Times.  

“I am very quick in calling American citizens ‘patriots,’” one-time Bundy-supporter and Nevada GOP Sen. Dean Heller said in an interview after the remarks surfaced. “Maybe in this case, too quick.”

President Barack Obama openly condemned and made fun of Bundy’s remarks during the White House Correspondent’s Dinner earlier this month.

“I haven’t seen anybody pull a 180 that fast since Rand Paul dis-invited that Nevada rancher to this dinner,” the president said, referencing dinner guest Olympic gold medal snowboarder Jamie Anderson.

“As a general rule, things don’t end well if the sentence starts with, ‘Let me tell you something about the Negro,’” Obama added. “You don’t really need to know the rest of it.”

The Independent American Party touts itself as a group of “patriots” who believe in 15 principles of freedom, including “Faith in God and a belief in moral law is essential to maintain freedom,” that “States are sovereign and should not be ‘commanded’ by the Federal Government,” and that “Our American Republic invites prosperity; the infusion of Communism invites slavery.”

Cliven Bundy

Cliven Bundy is leaving the Republican Party

Updated