Republican congressional candidate Allen West tells Newsmax that the nation is nearing a “tipping point” toward socialism when more than half of all Americans depend on the government for financial support.
The retired Army lieutenant colonel also says the Democrats and his opponent Ron Klein committed a “despicable act” by sending West’s Social Security number to tens of thousands of people, vows to work to defund Obamacare if he is elected, and scoffs at a report that he is associated with the Outlaws motorcycle gang.
West is running against two-term Democratic Rep. Ron Klein in Florida’s 22nd Congressional District, which includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach Counties. West served more than 20 years in the Army with postings in several combat zones, including Iraq and Afghanistan. He has received military awards including the Bronze Star, and holds two master's degrees.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, West was asked why Ron Klein has run personal attack ads against West instead of campaigning on his record, which includes support for Obamacare and the stimulus package.
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“When you are not able to articulate your voting record, when you are not confident enough to talk about the issues [important] to the people in South Florida — for instance, 13 percent unemployment, the fact that Palm Beach County is number one in the state of Florida, which is number three in the nation for foreclosures — the only thing you can do is an attack ad against someone like myself,” West says.
“If you want to try to build some kind of case against my character or who I am, the most important thing I would say to Ron Klein is that my house is in order.
“But the fiscal house of the American people, which is the House of Representatives, is totally in disarray — especially when you realize we don’t even have a budget in our country right now, and there is so much economic uncertainty and no predictability out there for small business owners.”
NBC’s Lisa Myers recently filed a report suggesting that West is associated with the Outlaws motorcycle gang, which has a history of criminal activity, and said that association has cost West support in Florida’s law enforcement community.
West comments: “Her report is based on the fact that I ride a motorcycle and someone asked me about associating with the Outlaws gang, which I have no association with.
“What Lisa Myers needs to understand is I do have the endorsement from the Fraternal Order of Police, and I don’t think there’s any problem as far as my relationship with law enforcement.”
West has said the 2010 elections are crucial to halting the growth of the public sector in spending and employment, noting that 47 percent of American households don't pay income taxes.
“Right now we are at a tipping point, a decisive point, and I think that‘s what makes the 2010 election cycle so important,” he says.
“Because if we get to the point in the United States where there are a majority of people that are wedded to the government by subsistence check or by employment check — public sector outpaces private sector two to one in compensation — if the government grows and has more Americans tied to it, then as Margaret Thatcher said, socialism works very well until you run out of other people’s money. And that is truly the tipping point we are at.”
Democrats revealed West’s Social Security number in a mailing sent to tens of thousands of party faithful. Asked whether that was against the law, West responds: “It is against the law, but I think this was an opportunity to maybe get me distracted, get me off message and get me to focus on that.
“But we will stay focused on winning this congressional election, and after we win we will take care of that very despicable and disgusting act that Ron Klein and the Florida Democratic Party executed.”
West adds that his daughter was the first family member to see the mailing.
“It was a very traumatic experience for my family because that’s a violation of your privacy,” he says.
“It was not just my Social Security number, but also wife’s federal employment identification number that they put out in a hit-piece mailer.
“When you can’t talk about the issues, when you can’t talk about your voting record, all you [can do] is character assassination, because I threaten Ron Klein and the liberal progressive agenda [and] this ruling class elitism that they profess.”
Sgt. Robert Delgado, who served under West in Iraq, appears in an ad in which he states that when West found out Delgado had not been issued protective armor, the colonel gave him his own armor. That saved the sergeant’s life when he was hit in the chest with a bullet, said Delgado, who states in the ad:
“Without Colonel West, my children would be fatherless today.”
West tells Newsmax: “My driver when I was in Iraq flew in because he was very concerned. He’s seen the things they are doing to me [in the campaign] and he wanted to volunteer himself to do a commercial for us, which he did. Sergeant Robert Delgado.”
Asked whether the Obama administration and the Democrats are on the right course in dealing with high unemployment, West responds: “The present administration is on the wrong course, absolutely.
“When Ron Klein went to Congress in 2007, the unemployment rate in the United States was 4.7 percent. Now it’s probably 10 or 10.1 percent. Unemployment here in South Florida was only about 4 percent. Now it’s tripled, and he has to be held responsible for the failed fiscal policies that are preventing our small businesses from growing and hiring Americans.
“Our corporate business tax rate is 33 to 35 percent. If they really wanted to do what’s right, they would cut that business tax rate in half.”
West says that, if he is elected, he will work to defund healthcare reform legislation, including the mandate to purchase insurance.
“We absolutely have to. And it’s not just that. It’s the $500 billion of cuts to Medicare we have to make sure don’t go into effect. It’s the fact that we’re going to see 150 new government agencies and bureaucracies to include 16,000 new IRS agents.
“It’s the fact that through the healthcare law, now all college education loans must go through the federal government. It’s those types of things that we have to make sure we do not allow to continue. We need to get back to free enterprise, free market solutions for our healthcare and we do need those reforms.”
West says he believes he can ride the crest of anti-Democratic sentiment to win election this year, but cautioned: “Americans have pure disdain right now for Democrats, but they don’t yet have full trust and confidence in the Republicans.
“So it’s going to be very important that after we are successful, and we do have these victories, that we gain that trust and confidence back within the first 90 to 120 days, because we don’t want it to be where people see Republicans and Democrats as opposing wings of the same bird.”
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