Oil spill politics: Dems rip Klein challenger West on drillingby George Bennett | May 4th, 2010
West is challenging U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton, in a race that has gained national attention as West’s fund-raising has dwarfed the incumbent’s for the last two quarters.
Klein has opposed expanding offshore drilling while West has favored it. After the Deepwater Horizon explosion, West wrote on his campaign website Sunday that the gulf spill is “very worrisome” and that America needs to enhance its energy independence.
Says Florida Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff: “West’s only response to the crisis has been a two word mention on his campaign blog. Rather than hiding behind his computer screen, maybe Allen West could demonstrate a little courage and publicly declare his continued support for drilling off Florida’s beaches. This just goes to show how breathtakingly out-of-touch he is with the residents of the 22nd District.”
After the Democratic blast, West offered a lengthier response today voicing concern and calling for safeguards while adding “Any person permanently taking oil exploration off the table is closing the door for an energy independent United States, thus further enabling our enemies to hold us hostage and fund terrorists that continue to plot attacks against us.”
Read West’s statement after the jump….
Republican congressional candidate Allen West on the Deepwater Horizon spill:
“As an avid diver and someone who recently participated in a beach clean-up with constituents of District 22, I am concerned about this incident. A complete investigation into the cause of the explosion is of utmost importance. We must also put safeguards in place aimed at preventing future incidents, and corporations must be held accountable for their actions. I am disturbed at the lack of urgency and slow response exhibited by the Obama Administration as thousands of gallons of oil gush into the Gulf of Mexico.
I support developing the full spectrum of energy resources available, as energy independence is vital to American National Security. This “all of the above” strategy will create jobs in Florida, which is suffering an unprecedented unemployment rate of 12.3% under Ron Klein’s watch.
Any person permanently taking oil exploration off the table is closing the door for an energy independent United States, thus further enabling our enemies to hold us hostage and fund terrorists that continue to plot attacks against us.”