This post has been updated.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus on Thursday said that Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's comments published in the New York Times, in which he wondered if African-Americans were "better off as slaves," would not impact Las Vegas' chance to hold the GOP convention.
"The convention decisions are made in pretty much a vacuum. It’s not Las Vegas’ fault," Priebus said on the conservative "Coffee and Markets" podcast when asked about Bundy's comments and the convention. "No matter where you fall on this issue, with regard to this land out in Nevada, I don't think it has anything to do with whether Las Vegas is a worthy place for a convention."
In a statement on Thursday, Priebus condemned Bundy's remarks.
"Bundy's comments are completely beyond the pale. Both highly offensive and 100% wrong on race," he said.
After Bundy declared victory over the federal government after a standoff with the Bureau of Labor Management over grazing fees, prominent conservatives rallied around the rancher.
After his most recent comments, many have distanced themselves from the anti-government activist. Yet at least one conservative pundit has tried to defend Bundy.
When asked about the Bundy ranch standoff in general, Priebus also skirted around the issue.
"I haven't really been following that issue much, I have to tell you," he said Thursday. "The only thing I noticed was that there were a bunch of members from the BLM with guns and agents from whatever agencies that were out in front certainly seemed pretty heavy handed, but I’m not really following that."
[H/t Washington Post]