U.S. Rep. Allen West tells Newsmax.TV that his record will carry him to re-election after his move to avoid a redistricting “ambush.”
“Momma didn’t raise no fool,” the freshman Florida Republican said, explaining his recent decision to move from his 22nd Congressional District to the newly configured 18th District.
The GOP-controlled Florida Legislature’s redistricting plan is expected to make the heavily Democratic 22nd District even more Democratic, the tea party favorite said of the feeling that he was ambushed. The 18th is a bit more Republican than Democratic.
West, who was elected to the House in 2010, said he isn’t concerned about his primary election challenge from Martin County Sheriff Robert Crowder.
“I run against a standard. I’m not worrying about anyone else,” West said in the exclusive interview with Newsmax.
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“My record speaks for itself,” he said. “When you look at all the pressing issues that are there, you know, Martin County, and CD18, has an issue with unemployment. They have an issue with foreclosures. They have an issue with high gasoline prices. Small businesses and jobs being created, those are the things that I’m working on as well as some of the local issues about inlet dredging and things of that nature.”
As for aspirations to higher office, he acknowledged that some political observers, including Sarah Palin, have mentioned him as a potential GOP candidate for vice president.
Former Alaska Gov. Palin, who was the Republican vice-presidential candidate in 2008, told Fox News last week: “In this very tumultuous time across our world, someone who has served in our military or at least has intimate knowledge of the way the military works and should work, perhaps by having a close family member serve, someone like that — like Colonel Allen West, who went to the school of hard knocks — should be considered seriously for VP.”
Asked for his reaction, the retired Army lieutenant colonel told Newsmax: “I will always serve my country. If someone will make that call to me, I’ll pray about it, talk it over with the family, and then we’ll step up to do our best.”
Assessing the presidential race, West said Mitt Romney must ramp up his enthusiasm and energy if he wants to clinch the nomination.
“It’s pretty interesting because, as we sit here now, Governor Romney finished third in Alabama and Mississippi,” West said. “Of course, with the proportionality, he’s still getting the delegates, but he’s really not sealing the deal. He’s doing okay in some spots, but he’s still not bringing forth the type of enthusiasm and energy that is necessary.”
Asked about President Barack Obama’s performance, West faulted the president for rising oil prices and his refusal to give the green light to the Keystone XL pipeline.
“First and foremost, when you make a call over to Senate Democrats and you lobby them to vote against the Keystone XL project, I don’t care what you say,” West said. “That’s something the American people see that you’re being an obstructionist.”
“He needs to make sure that he’s doing everything to promote our domestic oil production and then also make sure that we reduce the necessity for us to be dependent upon the volatile region of the Middle East.”
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