Former congressman Allen West had an unfortunately short-lived career in the US House of Representatives, to which he was elected in 2010 but lost his reelection bid just two years later. Shame, because I would have bet money that he would one day be President.
Being a one-term, two-year member of the House is not much in the way of experience, but crazier things have happened.
West indicated yesterday on WMAL, the Washington-based conservative talk-radio station, that he may challenge Senator Marco Rubio, his former colleague, fellow Republican, and fellow Floridian, in a GOP primary in 2016. As I said, crazier things have happened.
The issue West has with Rubio is his involvement with the “Gang of Eight” and their, shall we say, “controlled” amnesty bill.
“If I see people that are not taking our country down the right path,” West said; “if I see people that are not standing up for the right type of principles, and putting their own party politics before what is best for the United States of America,” then he would consider challenging Rubio in 2016.
He acknowledged the challenge of doing so, however. “That’s a pretty heavy lift, because you’re talking about running against a sitting senator, and then, of course, that creates that schism that the other side would love to see happen.”
This is exactly why West should not challenge Rubio. Over all, Rubio has mostly favorable ratings among Republicans, with the one complaint of the conservative base being his immigration stance. If West entered the picture, it would embolden the Democrats. If West were successful, he would be painted as a snake for turning on Rubio; if Rubio were successful, Democrats would say, “Rubio is so radical, even his own party tried to kick him out.” Of course it wouldn’t be his being a radical that would have caused West to challenge him, but his moderation. But Democrats own the media and therefore the message, and the message would ultimately give Florida a new, Democratic senator.
As much as I agree with West that Rubio needs to go (at least it seems that’s West’s position), it’s Rubio’s constituents that need to let him know that they want him gone so that Rubio can step down on his own and spare us a public rift.