We always find it terribly interesting when someone actually RUNS for Vice President. Florida Rep. Allen West has made it abundantly clear he is open to taking the job, which is odd — seeing as most people are saying “I am happy with my current job,” or “the conversation has never come up,” or “I’ll serve my country, but we’ll get to that bridge when we cross it.” VicePresidents.com takes a closer look at Rep West to determine… Is he a “battle-tested patriot with true star power” … or Romney’s Rev Wright?
Who’s Recommending Allen West?
“Top of my list is Allen West,” she said. “I love that he has that military experience. He is a public servant willing to serve for the right reasons. He understands the Constitution. He understands our national foreign policy issues that must be addressed. He has served. I really like him. There are so many, Sean, that are out there. And when I talk about going rogue, what I want to do is encourage the GOP nominee to not think that they have to go with somebody necessarily safe that conventional wisdom perhaps would lead somebody to believe that, if it’s somebody, quote-unquote, safe, that they’re not going to get beat up by the media, because no matter who it is.” She added that the GOP party should pick someone who is “passionate and strong” — who “understands the Constitution and wants to put government back on the side of the people.”
Then Herman Cain came out to endorse Allen West (in addition to Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan). He cited the fact that West is from the swing state of Florida, which could help swing the election in their favor.
It seemed as though Nikki Haley was recommending West when she dropped his name as a “good pick.” However, she later back-paddled to say that she is not “qualified to recommend anybody” and that she was just mentioning people who have already been mentioned before. She also mentioned Chris Christie, Marco Rubio and Kelly Ayotte. ”We’ve got great people. We will have a great vice presidential candidate…. I think that whatever it is, it will excite people and I think that it will be a good, strong partner for the ticket,” Haley said.
Then there are these people behind the “Draft Allen West” movement… which makes you realize why it’s not really gaining any traction.
Why Allen West?
On the surface, West is clearly someone Conservative Republicans would love to have on the ticket. He hails from a military family and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia before moving to the Sunshine State (which also happens to be a swing state in the election.) His father served in WWII and his brother in Vietnam. West himself spent 22 years in the armed forces — serving in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom as Lieutenant Colonel. After that, he worked for a defense contractor for several years and unsuccessfully tried to unseat an incumbent in 2008 (losing by 9.4%).
West began to pick up his political steam when he spoke at CPAC in 2010 and he was able to win Florida’s 22nd district in January 2011. His committee assignments include the Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Small Business.
He espouses conservative social values, appeals to tea party members and believes in a strict interpretation of the Constitution. He’s a Christian, a family man and the sort of person who doesn’t mind riding in the sidecar. His supporters say he would be an ideal balance to the more moderate Northerner, Mitt Romney.
Upon closer inspection, Allen West appears to be a loose cannon. Some Americans will be inclined to agree with him on the issues and love his brazen, off-the-cuff way of speaking; however, this could pose a real problem for a presidential candidate who doesn’t necessarily want to spend all his time defending or justifying the speeches his VP nominee is giving. Case in point:
- He likened being gay to choosing a flavor of ice cream and said gay people can just “change their sexual behavior.”
- He told reporters, “If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat Party because they have an incredible propaganda machine” and accused Nancy Pelosi for using “Gestapo-like tactics.”
- He said of Rep Keith Ellison (the first elected Muslim member of Congress) that he “really does represent the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established.”
- He wrote an email full of vitriol to Debbie Wasserman, calling her “the most vile, unprofessional ,and despicable member of the US House of Representatives” and saying that she is “not a Lady” (so therefore, she does not deserve respect from him!)
- He believes there are 78 – 81 members of Congress who are “members of the Communist Party.”
- At a conservative women’s conference, he told the group that liberal women “have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness — to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient. That’s what we need you to do. Because if you don’t, then the debt will continue to grow…deficits will continue to grow.”
- West called for the censoring of news agencies, saying: “And I think that we also should be censoring the American news agencies which enabled [Julian Assange] to do this and also supported him and applauding him for the efforts.”
- He said that people with COEXIST bumper stickers “would give away who we are, our rights and freedoms and liberties because they are afraid to stand up and confront that which is the antithesis, anathema of who we are.”
- He added that “George Bush got snookered into going into some mosque, taking his shoes off, and then saying that Islam was a religion of peace.”
- He claims, “The Democratic appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today.”
- At a Florida GOP dinner, he attacked Democrats once again, saying: “Take your message of equality of achievement…You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America.”
- On the news, he said “Barack Hussein Obama” is nothing more than a “low-level socialist agitator.”
- Heck, if you voted for Obama then you clearly “represent a threat to the gene pool,” according to West.
- Then there was that insubordination trouble he got into in the military, where he threatened a man’s life and shot a gun off next to his head, despite the fact that it was against regulation…
The Bottom Line
If you’re someone who really, really, really hates the Democratic Party and everything it stands for, Allen West is your guy. He’s saying what “every real Patriot” is thinking, but cannot say. He’s “rogue,” as Sarah Palin put it, and he’s not going to put up with anyone’s B.S. on Capitol Hill. However, to mainstream America — and most of the Republican base — he comes off as a loose-lipped crackpot. If Mitt Romney only wanted to get the message out, he might choose Allen West. But if he wants to win, he’s going to have to find someone with a less incendiary history.