PJMedia Exclusive: A Talk with Congressman Allen West
Q. It has been speculated that you are most likely to face former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel as your Democrat opponent in 2012. Currently on Ms. Frankel’s campaign web site is a fundraising banner that states:
Stop Allen West and his radical backers. Contribute now!
What is your plan to counter her argument that you are too radical for your district? Especially when you seem to have a knack for making news headlines that could be perceived by Democrats and independents as “too radical.”
A. Tell me what is too radical about limiting the growth of the federal government. Tell me what is too radical about reducing out-of-control spending and restoring fiscal responsibility. Tell me what is too radical about setting the conditions for businesses to grow, thrive, create jobs, and help our communities prosper. Tell me what is too radical about protecting our way of life. What I find shocking is that so many on the left think it’s “too radical” to return to the constitutional principles on which our great nation was founded.
Q. Take a look at Lois Frankel's campaign site. What are the most misleading or inaccurate items about you that she has posted on the site?
A. I don’t care what she says about me. What I find misleading is how she characterizes her business-as-usual progressive “tax and spend” policies as better for our congressional district and our nation, when they have clearly failed the American people. I see no ideas there, just typical liberal character assassination politics … which will fail, just as their policies have.
Q. According to the respected Cook Political Report you are included on the list of top ten Republicans vulnerable for defeat because of redistricting. If your new district does end up including more Democrat or independent leaning voters and as a result you would have to tailor your message to appeal to them or face a certain defeat, on which major issues of the day could you consider compromise in order to win re-election?
A. I’m not going to tailor my message. “Politicians” tailor their message. My message is simple, and remains consistent. We must return to our constitutional principles of limited government and the defense of our citizens and their freedoms. At the end of the day, I believe people are looking for leaders who are principled, pragmatic, passionate, and patriotic. Americans no longer want retread career politicians looking for their next gig.
Q. You are a terrific speaker, an American patriot, a true conservative, a bold leader, and a “rising star” on the national political scene. As a result, money will pour in from outside your congressional district to aid in what will be, by all accounts, a tough re-election campaign.
Are you concerned that your Democrat opponent will use your national “rising star” status and all the outside funding against you? How will you counter the argument, sure to be used, that you are more interested in being a national conservative leader than in representing your Florida district?
A. I’m running for reelection in to the United States House of Representatives. I’m glad my message resonates on a national scale. I am glad people are listening and support this message of limited constitutional government. The constituents of the congressional district recognize this country needs a course correction in 2012 and Americans around the nation realize we need to support strong leaders to Washington, D.C., to address our nation’s most pressing issues. The people in this district like having a national leader, not a liberal puppet.
Q. Many Americans believe that our nation’s best days are behind us? Do you?
A. Absolutely not -- I believe in the American spirit. I believe that America is a shining city on a hill. I believe our nation is a lighthouse which sends out a beacon of light around the world illuminating the principles of liberty, justice, and freedom. We have faced challenges from the Depression, to Pearl Harbor, to September 11, and what we learned is that even in the darkest moments in our history, we are able to see a light at the end of the tunnel and have reemerged stronger as a nation and as a people.
Q. As a former military officer, who is your favorite American military hero?
A. Without question, General George S. Patton.
Q. Who is your political role model currently serving in elective office?
A. It’s only been nine months since I was sworn in, so you’re not going to get my admiration in such a short amount of time. However, there are a number of individuals, including senior members, whose advice I value.
Congressman West, thank you for your time. Many PJM readers and residents of your district look forward to watching you fight for your first re-election bid in a newly drawn district. We wish you well.