BILLINGS - Former U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns told tea party supporters Thursday that President Barack Obama wants the "whole country to become like an Indian reservation."
Burns spoke at a small rally organized by Americans for Prosperity, an advocacy group founded with support from billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch that lobbies for lower taxes and less government.
The Billings Gazette reported that a group of more than 40 responded approvingly to the former senator's remarks, which included some choice words for the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
"I feel sorry for these kids. They're kind of spoiled. They're down there having a hissy fit. They don't know who they're mad at," said Burns.
Burns was well-known while in office for his sometimes offensive frankness, which occasionally led to gaffes he had to apologize for - such as when he used racially charged terms on separate occasions for Arabs and black people.
The 76-year-old Republican was beat in 2006 by Democrat Jon Tester, a loss Burns blamed on the news media.
He is now a senior adviser at the Washington, D.C., lobbying firm GAGE, led by former Montana lawmaker and political appointee Leo Giacometto.
The Thursday rally was to highlight government policies that could lower energy costs. A schedule for the event said Burns was there to "expose the Obama administration's $40 billion energy tax grab that will destroy jobs, decrease government revenues at a time of exploding national debt and make America less competitive."
Burns expanded his comments to include patriotism, American history, current events and capitalism as the foundation of free society.
"We got a guy in the White House, he doesn't believe in that. He believes all of us should be dependent on the government," Burns said. "I shouldn't say this, but he wants this whole country to become like an Indian reservation. I don't believe Americans are ready for that."