Editor's Note: Newsmax Senior Editor David A. Patten is in Washington this week interviewing incoming tea party freshmen and Republican leaders to offer an exclusive look at the next Congress and its Republican agenda. This is another installment of a series of Newsmax special reports and videos based on those interviews.
Republican victories in midterm elections proved that Americans are disgusted with President Barack Obama’s liberal agenda — and served notice that he must compromise with the GOP or be a one-term president, says Rep.-elect Allen West of Florida.
The freshman class of House and Senate members must teach the president that lesson, echoing the Republicans who similarly wrested power from the Democrats in 1994, West said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV.
“The lesson of 1994 wasn’t that Newt Gingrich changed principles,” West says. “It was Bill Clinton coming off his left-wing agenda. He came to the middle, and we did great things.”
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Republican freshmen can’t shirk their mission in Washington, West says. “The American people know now that they own the political process. If they don’t see results in two years, the people just sent up here will be sent home.”
The freshman class makes up about one-third of Republicans in the House, West notes. “We must stand together and make sure we’re not penetrated and co-opted.”
If Obama won’t back down, “then we’ve got to do the things we can in the House to speak out for the American people. And if he chooses to be a rigid ideologue, he’s going to be a one-term president.”
One of the essential agenda items needs to be a ban on earmarks, which looks very likely among House Republicans but less so in the Senate, West says.
“We have to have an earmark ban,” West insists. “It’s one of those things that’s causing a negative perception among the public of what Congress is doing. We need appropriations that can stand on their own.”
Presumptive House Speaker John Boehner must get together with likely Senate Majority Mitch McConnell to make sure the Senate is on board, West says. “This is going to be one of the key indicators — are we trending in the right way for this new Congress? If not, two years go by quickly, and the American people won’t forget.”
West’s initial choice as chief of staff, Joyce Kaufman, was victim of a left-wing smear campaign, West contends. “The left is obviously threatened by me,” he says. “To get to me they unleashed the machine against Joyce Kaufman . . . But they won’t stop me in Washington. The left is showing itself to be racist, sexist, and misogynist.”
The liberal media employs a double standard, West says. “We saw that with Juan Williams at NPR. The American people are starting to see the left for who they are and rejecting them.”
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