Allen West on 'the dawn of a new America'
February 12th, 2011
07:49 PM ET
12 years ago

Allen West on 'the dawn of a new America'

Washington (CNN) - Freshman GOP Rep. Allen West of Florida outlined three "pillars of conservatism" that will lead to the "new dawn of a new America" in a rousing speech given to close the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday.

Pausing several times to accommodate applause, West addressed his detractors and laid out a path for the conservative way forward.

CPAC is the largest annual gathering of conservative-minded activists, which this year is extra-important because it's the first cattle-call of potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates.

While describing his personal journey, West took a swipe at charges of conservative racism heard on the campaign trail and remarked "Perhaps they should see who is standing up as your keynote speaker."

He recalled enduring "the politics of ugliness... capitalist name calling... being called the worst person in the world," and responded with the results from the recent midterm election: "you got fired for it."

And of an analysis that rated him "one of the most vulnerable representatives" for his next election, West countered, "I've got to tell you, standing in front of you I don't feel so vulnerable, do I."

The Tea Party favorite affirmed that he took an oath "to be a guardian for the conservative principles that make America the greatest nation that the world has ever known," and denounced "liberal progressivism" that "has repeatedly failed all over the world."

He discussed "pillars of conservatism" as an antidote, including "effective and efficient principles of government," "peace through vigilance, resolve, and strength," and a commitment to "never abandon values."

West sounded off on "failed gimmick policies like cash for clunkers," saying "We cannot continue on with excessive taxation and the overburdens of regulation and that's why we're going to be cutting from the EPA."

And on foreign affairs and the resolve for peace, West issued a challenge. "Peace begins with courageous leaders who are willing to identify and defy our enemies and their objectives," he said, "Because political correctness has no place in our national security agenda."

Touching on the developments in Egypt he cautioned, "Yesterday we witnessed a historic moment. However, let us be reminded of the lessons of revolution in Iran. History has a way of teaching you a very bad lesson if you don't pay attention."

But the most important pillar for West, who shared stories from his childhood and a family history in the military, was the commitment to values.

"We do not separate faith from the individual. We must never forget that the American motto is in God we trust. We welcome the beliefs of others in America, but when tolerance becomes a one-way street it leads to cultural suicide," he said.

"We stand on the precedence of greatness for this nation, but if we forget what brought us to where we are, if we forget these pillars there will be no America to pass on to our generations."

Filed under: Allen West • CPAC 2011
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. once upon a horse

    the best way for a minority to make it in the GOP is to be a right wing nutjob, say negative things about other minorites, and kiss up to the likes of DeMint and Rush Limbaugh. And if you're African American and can SLAM President Obama and also kiss up to Sarah Palin you should be in like Flint. Looks like they got a good one in this West guy with his security clearence being higher that the president himself.

    February 13, 2011 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  2. gar

    This guy is the ultimate reactionary buffoon.

    February 13, 2011 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  3. TM

    And I'm sure that he gained all his "knowledge" because he had a "higher clearance" than the President. Remember republicans, this guy was tossed out of the military for a reason.

    February 13, 2011 04:16 am at 4:16 am |

    His so called new dawn is the rich get much much richer and the middle class becomes the lower class, the lower class without any benefits, safety net or a job.

    February 13, 2011 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  5. Froezen Gray

    Remember Kid N Play? Homeboy looks like the one with the Gumby haircut, only way older. Peace old man.

    February 13, 2011 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  6. Donkey Party

    The kind of government West and his illiterate cohorts wants sure looks a lot like Iran.

    February 13, 2011 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  7. jepo

    I like listening to what he says-unt

    February 13, 2011 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  8. jepo

    Why can't they stick to financial conservativism without dragging God into every damn setnance. Leave my friggin personal life alone! Just stick to lowering taxes and spending OK?

    February 13, 2011 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  9. Tony in Maine

    It's called demagoguery. Every aspiring authoritarian is either good at it or quickly fades.

    It will be interesting to see if the birthers demand his original birth certificate and sworn affidavits from his mother's attending ob/gyn. He is "different" from us you know.

    February 13, 2011 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  10. guy fromNM

    What the hell are values,or his values? permanent state of war? greed? Ignorance? And he can get off his pedestal, this country has never been any different than any other, maybe more detrimental to the health of this world than any other. And we can see how much good, unbridled capitalism has done to this planet

    February 13, 2011 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  11. diridi

    what does this portarican know....???

    February 13, 2011 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  12. a in austin

    Excessive taxation? Really? After the tax cuts given to the top? After the corporations? Where are the jobs?

    February 13, 2011 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  13. ar

    Opppss. something just fell out of his closet.

    February 13, 2011 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  14. Dnick47

    West, we were the greatest nation on earth but you GFOP'ers squandered it away on petty wars, give aways to the rich, and what not... We are fast becoming a 3rd world nation thanks to "Trickle down" economics – tyhank you for that GOPer.

    February 13, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  15. annie s

    Excessive taxation? The newest conservative lie (or just Tea Party ignorance?). Under President Obama, 95% of all Americans have been given multiple tax decreases and breaks and the U.S. currently has the lowest tax rate in over 50 years.

    February 13, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
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