Allen West discusses Cain, Bachmann, Paul, Perry, Crist, Florida’s primary date and moreby George Bennett | September 28th, 2011
West also told reporters he expects Florida to be influential in presidential politics regardless of when it schedules its 2012 primary.
West also got a dig in on former Gov. Charlie Crist, the Republican-turned-independent who has contributed to one of West’s Democratic rivals.
Find out what West had to say after the jump…
** West was asked if he’s reviewed Cain’s proposal to scrap the federal tax code and replace it with a 9 percent personal income tax, a 9 percent corporate tax and a 9 percent national sales tax.
“He pulled a surprise, didn’t he?” West said of Cain’s straw poll victory. “The state of Florida has definitely made Herman Cain a very popular person for right now. But let’s see if he can sustain that.”
“Remember who won the Iowa straw poll?” West said, referring to the August victory by Bachmann, who has tumbled in the polls ever since. “This is not a sprint. It’s a marathon.”
As for the 9-9-9 plan, West said he needs to study it but is concerned about creating a new revenue spigot with the national sales tax without abolishing other taxes on income.
“We cannot allow a national sales tax to grow and still have other means of federal income taxation,” West said. Also, he said, “What happens all of a sudden 10 years from now if somebody comes up with a 15-15-15 plan? And five years after that somebody comes up with a 20-20-20 plan? So the key is, we have to make sure that if you lock it in at those types of rates you have to keep it at those types of rates.”
** West was asked if he favored auditing the Federal Reserve. He didn’t mention Paul by name, but aimed criticism at the Texas congressman, who chairs the Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee.
“I don’t sit on the Financial Services Committee,” West said. “But guess what? The person that’s out going around wanting to be president of the United States is the chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the Federal Reserve. So I would think that maybe instead of running around trying to be the president of the United States, go and do that thing that you have told everybody you want to do.”
** West was asked how he feels about states providing in-state tuition benefits to children of illegal immigrants. Texas Gov. Perry’s support for such a program has drawn fire from his rivals, with Perry responding last week that opponents “don’t have a heart.”
West didn’t mention Perry, but clearly took exception to the program and Perry’s defense of it.
“Believing in providing the best for American children does not mean that you don’t have a heart. We have got to take care of our own first and foremost,” West said.
** When an audience member asked “What happened to moderates?” the outspokenly conservative West said he was puzzled by the term and those who embrace it.
“I’m trying to figure out what that means. Is a moderate a person who wakes up each and every day and says what do i believe in today?” West said.
He added: “If people were to send me home during a reelection, it would not hurt my feelings. Because I will know that, at the end of the day, I could look at myself in the mirror and say, I never told them a lie, I never tried to manipulate them. I never told them what I thought they wanted to hear just so I could go back to Washington, D.C.”
Then, referring to Crist, West mentioned “what happened with the former governor of this state — because you never knew what he truly stood for.”
** After the meeting, West was asked about Florida’s presidential primary date and the desire of state GOP leaders for an early primary to maximize the state’s influence in defiance of Republican National Committee rules.
“That’s not a decision that I’m privy to and that’s not something I’m concerned about,” West said.
“Wherever it was going to be, I think Florida has a great impact and Florida’s going to be a great influencer,” West said.
Tags: Ron Paul