Tea Party Darling Allen West Puts Up His Dukes in Florida Fight

allen westHave you suddenly been hearing about Florida Representative Allen West? Well it's no wonder. Florida isn't just the state to watch this week with the Republican primaries -- it's also the state to watch for the general election. It's one of the hot battle scenes for Presidential candidates, with its 27 electoral votes, which could go either way. Florida went with Obama in 2008 but with Bush the previous two elections. It's always a close call, and Obama needs the state to win the general election. 

Which brings us to Rep. Allen West. He's just a freshman in Congress, elected in 2010, but he's a Tea Party favorite and he's making his voice heard -- in a loud and combative way. This weekend at a Republican fundraiser in West Palm Beach, he told Democratic leaders that "Florida ain't on the table" and to "get the hell out of the United States of America." What's this all about?


Here's what Representative West said:

We need to let President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and my dear friend the chairman of the Democrat National Committee, we need to let them know that Florida ain't on the table. Take your message of equality of achievement, take your message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the entrepreneurial will and spirit of the American people somewhere else. 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.

Whoa, them's fightin' words! Well, them's Tea Party boilerplate, anyway. It probably won't surprise you to hear West was endorsed by Sarah Palin when he ran for office in 2010. He's spoken out in support of the Tea Party and is a member of its caucus. He was also the keynote speaker at the 2011 C-PAC. And, let's face it, there aren't very many black Tea Party leaders. So West is particularly key to the movement.

So it looks like Allen West is putting up his dukes in the fight over Florida voters. If he has anything to do with it, Florida will not go Obama's way. But it looks like West may also be lashing out from a threat of his own. His seat is in peril thanks to a redistricting plan passed by the Republican-dominated state legislature. West will now cover a Democrat-dominant area, which complicates his reelection plans considerably.

It looks like West isn't just fighting with his fellow Republicans to pull Florida away from Obama. He may also be trying to make headlines in order to strengthen his ties with influential donors and colleagues who could help him stay in power.

Had you heard of Allen West before his speech this weekend?


Image via Congressman Allen West

Read More >