Catching Up with Rep. Allen West
The freshman discusses his 2012 campaign.
February 28, 2012 - 12:00 am
You also out-raised Florida Senator Bill Nelson, who is running for reelection ($5.6 million vs. your $5.8 million). Why do you think your fundraising ability is so high — more like a senate campaign than a congressional reelection?
A. The conservative message we profess is resonating across the land. The American people are looking for a strong messenger — look what happened during the 2010 mid-term elections. More and more Americans are waking up and realizing this country is on the wrong track, and we need to get back to the fundamental principles that made this nation great.
I never shy away from the truth. I will not be silenced by political correctness. A strong voice is needed to cut through the liberal cacophony of the current administration and its mainstream media allies.
Q. Do you regret not running against Senator Bill Nelson, especially since you have outraised him?
Q. As a rising star and leader in the conservative movement with great national media appeal, where do you see yourself in five years?
A. Let me start by saying that five years before I got elected to the United States House of Representatives, I was in the desert of Afghanistan. I could never have imagined that today I would have the honor to serve our nation in the United States Congress. I have spent my life serving my country. I will continue to serve, in whatever capacity I can. Ultimately, that decision is not mine. It belongs to the American people, my family, and God.
Q. If Governor Mitt Romney is the GOP presidential nominee will you ask him to campaign for you in your new congressional district?
A. I think Governor Mitt Romney will have plenty of other priorities more important than campaigning for a freshman congressman.
Q. Do you believe Governor Romney is a conservative?
A. John Locke said: “I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.” Over the course of his tenure leading the state of Massachusetts, one might question the conservatism of some of Governor Romney’s decisions. Governor Romney, as a Republican, had to govern one of the bluest states in the country. I certainly believe Governor Romney is more conservative than President Obama.
Q. As you know, Florida is a must-win state for Governor Romney in a general election. If Romney asked you to campaign for him or with him statewide in Florida, would you say “yes”?
A. I shall wholeheartedly support the chosen Republican candidate for president — unless of course that candidate is Ron Paul and we had a discussion and an understanding on where we disagree on foreign policy.
Q. Do you enjoy all the media attention you often garner, especially after you have said something that is perceived as controversial?
A. I believe we need to change the conversation in this country. I believe that we need to challenge the status quo. I believe we need to shake the foundation of the entrenched special interests. Most important, I believe in stimulating ideas and forcing the American people to do what we do not do enough of today: think! What I say is only controversial to those afraid of the truth.