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. Altasbarfed

    Yeah, let's keep fracking and poison the water. And drill offshore, so we can coat more of our shores with oil. and stop regulating food. Salmonella? who cares. And while you're at it let's dump the minimum wage, stop regulation of multi-national corporations and bow down to the Koch brothers.

    February 12, 2011 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. CBR

    The sky is not falling yet. The world is not coming to an end. We all need to take a breath and move forward slowly. In some places in the world inhabitants lead a very difficult existence. There are no easy solutions and there is room for ideas from conservatives. liberals and moderates. The day may come when we have to listen to one another and work together. This group is not prepared to do so.

    It is difficult to read the statements coming from this group. Did anyone really say what they really believe or did they tailor their remarks to their audience?

    February 12, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  3. dem forever in nc

    The token black man for the Rethuglicans. Wake up Allen, the GOP doesn't give a darn about minorities. Just ask Steele. You will always be just their "boy". Obama 2012!!!!

    February 12, 2011 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  4. Kara

    I wonder how he can be such an obvious bought and paid for token and still live with himself.
    In the party that celebrates the confederacy as a time of glory.
    No wonder he looks so sad.

    February 12, 2011 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  5. Bog & Bam

    I fear those that think the complex is really inherently simple.

    February 12, 2011 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  6. Roy E. Hall

    I was thrilled and inspired with Allen West's talk at CPAC today. At 75 years old it has been many years since a man expressed my views so complete and made me proud to be an American. I hope he runs for a national political office so I can show my support. God has blessed him richly. Roy Hall from Pa.

    February 12, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  7. payback

    How was that back of the bus speech again.....Tom, I mean allen. My bad..........

    February 12, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  8. Proud

    Should've been the first black president. Allen West you have my vote.

    February 12, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  9. Reggie from LA

    I noticed in Mr West's rhetoric is somewhat unappreciative of such gimmicky little things as cash of clunkers. I challenge 2 things of Mr West. 1) let him tell us how many people capitalized on that little ditty alone. 2) tell us what fine things that the GOP or the Tea Party has done for our nation since 2000, other than criticize or hypocritically preach the Constitution. I noticed that there is much criticism of President Obama's initiatives, but I've also noticed that TP/Repubs have done about jack***t. Come on Mr West. Tell us. Tell us who has out produced President Obama in accomplishing for ALL. That goes for any of you.

    February 12, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  10. Root and stem

    This has to be absolutely destroying the moral at CNN. A black not kiissing the ass of the Progressive radicals. A free thinker untethered from the racist Obama.

    February 12, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  11. Ash

    It's so tiring to hear things like "...greatest nation that the world has ever known," and denounced "liberal progressivism" that "has repeatedly failed all over the world.""

    There is no such thing as a greatest nation, for one. And if you want to use the HDI as a measure of what country actually ranks number one based on a variety of criteria, that country would be Norway.

    And I am enjoying that "liberal progressivism" here in New Zealand, where everyone in the workforce is entitled to twenty days of paid holiday leave, paid sick leave and paid parental leave. Can anyone guess the only developed country in the world without any of those?

    February 12, 2011 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  12. pat

    how can you say a new America when all the sound bites from republicans is always go back to: founding fathers; 2008 spending; being able to carry around guns like we are in the old west again; etc., etc., etc.,. How do you go forward into a new century if you keep going backwards?

    February 12, 2011 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  13. rusty155

    I Really want America to believe Is the that the TEA Party IS the biggest line of Crap I ever heard. I run and pay for by the Koch's Brother that try too get enough Dumb people In Office so they can tell them how too vote. I believe the people that was voted in the House and Senate was too be working for the AMERICA PEOPLE not pay by the two Koch's Brother. America better wake up be for It to late.

    February 12, 2011 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  14. Proud

    Sir you have my vote.

    February 12, 2011 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  15. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Yeah, yeah, knucklehead Republicans had your chance and you BLEW IT! Get over yourselves and let President Obama lead us!

    February 12, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  16. B

    Been there done that bud......
    This is now a rapidly growing Secular country that needs its leaders to broaden their scope and become part of the 21st century. Enough of the extremism.

    February 12, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  17. Gaylon Barrow

    I am a white American an this African American should be considering a run for the Presidency. He knows what he is talking about and is not inexperienced like Obama. YOU GO WEST. 2012

    February 12, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  18. Will

    I get the same feeling from this guy that I do when watching old Nazi propaganda footage.

    February 12, 2011 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  19. bobcat1a

    West speaks in the same vague political pablum that characterizes most of the conservative "thinking." With props to William Shakespeare, "It is a tale told by an idiot; full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

    February 12, 2011 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  20. Henry

    The American motto, genius, is "E Pluribus Unum."

    February 13, 2011 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  21. Galtem

    West for President!

    February 13, 2011 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  22. LouAz

    I thought Congressmen took an Oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. My mistake . . . seems this flat earth Republican Congressman took his Oath to conservative principles, which seem undefined, and his personal god or gods.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross" – Sinclair Lewis.

    February 13, 2011 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  23. Jim

    Ah yes, the new America, where only rich christians count, and the rest of us be damned. Oooh, me first! Me first!

    February 13, 2011 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  24. Tony

    If he gets re-elected somehow has seriously contaminated the water supply in his district with drugs...

    What a complete moron.

    February 13, 2011 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  25. mouse

    They got rid of Micheal Steele, you will be next. You neve know until it bit you in the butt.

    February 13, 2011 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
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