Retired Col. Allen West denounced as "horrible" President Barack Obama's commencement speech at West Point last week, while calling the reception he received "almost nonexistent."
The former Florida congressman told Breitbart News
in an interview at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans that cadets at the U.S. Military Academy "didn't even stand up" to applaud Obama.
"That is very telling," said the conservative commentator, who served on the House Armed Services Committee and the Small Business Committee during his 2011-2013 tenure.
West said Obama's speech should have focused on "rousing" the graduates by talking about the nation's great "American fighting spirit."
He said, "He should have been saying that they still have enemies to face, and I will do anything that I have to do as commander in chief to make sure you have all the resources and proper objectives and guidance to defeat this enemy."
West continued, "It was a horrible speech. That speech that he gave had nothing to do with reality." And he said he expected the graduates to "tune it out."
In the address at the New York academy, Obama said the United States must show restraint after a "long season of war."
He said, "I would betray my duty to you, and to the country we love, if I sent you into harm's way simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed fixing, or because I was worried about critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak."
His comments have since been denounced by a string of conservatives, including former Utah Gov. John Huntsman, for showing both weakness and that he was an ineffectual leader.
The speech was called "largely uninspiring" by The New York Times, while CNN correspondent Jim Clancy
said it received an "icy" reception.
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