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. JoY

    I would never give WEST the time of day

    February 12, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  2. Mickey, NY

    Allen West: Mr. Eraserhead

    February 12, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  3. JEJ

    Yo, Allen, before you put on that Uncle Tom suit, why don't you ask Haley Barbour what he thinks about racism in places like... say... Mississippi? There will be no new dawn for the black man with chumps like you pretending you fit in to a political party that can't stand the color of your skin.

    February 12, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  4. Death Panel Sarah

    I guess there is nothing to feel like a person listening to Hitler in 1937!
    He wanted to take his country back, too!

    February 12, 2011 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. The Other Dale

    From his speech, it's pretty clear he's already forgotten.

    February 12, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  6. Seattle Sue

    I'm hoping the new America is not run by the likes of Allen West and the Republicans/Tea Party people.

    February 12, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  7. they call me "tater salad"

    Shut up you right-wing wacko!!!

    February 12, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  8. Mike in Texas

    Big companies are making huge profits as we speak. Getting rid of the EPA only lets them make more money which they will keep. Keep supporting big business and screw the little guy is what he is saying.

    February 12, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  9. Mallory

    As a Democrat, I enjoyed listening to Allen West. He should really consider coming over to our side where his ideas will
    be appreciated. Is he SURE that he is a Republican? He sounded totally opposite of the poison tea that the conservatives
    usually serve up. They will probably try and squeeze him out because he sounds to sane for them.

    February 12, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  10. fideauxdon

    Why should anyone care what this "Sellout Artist of the Year" has to say?

    February 12, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  11. duke

    He's Michael Steele with a military record!
    He's speaking up for his boss,and their way of life.
    What a joke!

    February 12, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. Linda C - AZ

    He's great!

    February 12, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  13. Get A Grip

    I just LOVE this great American!!! President Allen West has a GREAT sound to it. Please Sir, run in 2012 and kick this communist we have now out of the White House. And THANK YOU SIR for your service to our country!

    February 12, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  14. Clwyd

    Rep. Allen, Your pillars are built on sand and the nut case loonies that are part of the conservative movement. Ron Paul's win of the CPAC straw poll means nothing as he was outside the NRC and still is a right wind nut with screwy ideas!

    February 12, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  15. Joseph L Cooke

    The sooner Col. West is President and backed by a Republican (no RINOs) Congress, the better. It it time to rid this country of the liberal influence once and for all.

    February 12, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  16. Frank in Valparaiso

    You want a new dawn in America?

    We need to

    1. put the regulations back on Wall Street and the banks that FDR had. Savings and Loans are for houses. not a crap shoot to make more money. Same with banks. Separate investment banks from commercial banks. And more than just in name.

    2. Tax the rich at 60%. Sorry, you make $20 million playing football you can pay it. All you spend it on is fast cars and wild women and you posse.

    3. Repeal ALL the free trade agreements. redo them so the US worker is not holding the bag while every other country has a tariff. Us being chumps is over.

    Then this US will get back on its feet. And we need universal health care.

    February 12, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. Debbie

    I just have no words for this man.

    February 12, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  18. Michael

    So if Allen West states: "We do not separate faith from the individual. We must never forget that the American motto is in God we trust."
    WHY are conservatives going crazy over the comment about the Muslim Brotherhood's secular activities?
    I'm confused....OR is it that the difference is that Conservatives are hypocrites that only believe that Christianity can only be the one religion of democracies of the world....
    FYI -> I'm a Catholic that thinks ALL faiths are equal and have ZERO business in politics or in democratic institutions...

    February 12, 2011 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  19. cbgb

    2 more pillars and he'll be tied with Islam...

    February 12, 2011 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  20. normajean

    My comment to Mr. Allen is that it will take a lot more than rhetoric to rebuild this great country and make up for the lack of any substantial accomplishment by the Republicans in the last two or more years.They have worked so hard at not working that they have actually created and followed through on nothing, not one bill that went on to become a piece of legislation.
    ...Their communication with the other side was at all times destructive instead of instructive and they made it known they wanted it that way, Voters know who cares and who doesn't and it's become incredibly obvious.

    February 12, 2011 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  21. Robert Collins

    Another foolish idiot

    February 12, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  22. T'sah from

    ["Peace begins with courageous leaders who are willing to identify and defy our enemies and their objectives," ]

    And you don't have to LEAVE the country to find them – they're right in your backyard!

    February 12, 2011 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  23. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Please go join a lobbying firm.

    February 12, 2011 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  24. Freedom

    Go West! May God Bless You and all Conservatives.

    February 12, 2011 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  25. corey

    2012 can't come soon enough. its time for those tea party fools to be voted out of office

    February 12, 2011 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
1 2 3