Update: There’s now video out of Bundy making the remarks.

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has come under heavy fire for reportedly making racially charged remarks about “the Negro” and whether blacks might be “better off as slaves, picking cotton.”

Rancher Cliven Bundy pulls in a rope while on horseback at a protest area near Bunkerville, Nev. Wednesday, April 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher) AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher

Rancher Cliven Bundy pulls in a rope while on horseback at a protest area near Bunkerville, Nev. Wednesday, April 16, 2014. (AP)

The New York Times first reported the controversial comments.

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” Bundy said Saturday, according to the Times, “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 continued. “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.”

The Times reported that Bundy made the remarks during a daily news conference that “drew one reporter and one photographer” and which Bundy turned into “what was in effect a town meeting with supporters.”

Lawmakers who have in the past voiced their support for the rancher, including Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), quickly distanced themselves from the comments.

“Senator Heller completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way,” Heller’s spokesman told the Times in an email.

Paul’s spokesman said in a statement to Business Insider: “His remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him.”

Bundy, Paul and Heller did not immediately respond to TheBlaze’s request for comment.

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