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Langevin Opponent Says Allen West Should Run for President

Monday, August 06, 2012

 

Florida Congressman Allen West came to Rhode Island to raise money over the weekend, but he left with an endorsement to run for President of the United States.

In a message posted on his Facebook page, Republican 2nd Congressional District candidate Michael Riley praised West, suggesting that once the Tea Party favorite and fundraising powerhouse is elected to higher office, “our nation will be in good hands and finally on the road to prosperity.”

Asked specifically if he would like see West run for President, Riley said he would.

“I think he can use a bit more experience but this guy is the real deal,” Riley wrote in an e-mail. “Everyone needs to be vetted for that important office but in my opinion he is among the most impressive people I've met and I think there is a real chance that is where he is headed.”

West was in Providence Saturday for three fundraising receptions at Capriccio downtown and Providence Prime on Federal Hill. As of June 30, the only Republican member of the Congressional Black Caucus has raised $10.4 million in his bid for re-election. Because of redistricting, West, who currently represents the 22nd Congressional District, is running in the 18th District in Florida.

West has been no stranger to controversy in his short time in the House, including suggesting that up to 80 of his Democratic are communists and clashing with top Senate Republicans Mitch McConnell (the Minority Leader) and former Presidential candidate John McCain.

Last year, West also called Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz “the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the US House of Representatives” in an e-mail.

On Friday state Democratic Party chairman Ed Pacheco ripped the local GOP for brining in West.

“Florida Congressman Allen West is not a person that most people in Rhode Island would agree with, much less relate to; yet it’s apparently the type of person Rhode Island Republicans are willing to fundraise with in an election year,” Pacheco said. “Rhode Islanders should not only be surprised – they should be outraged – that the Rhode Island Republican Party would be willing to invite such an intolerant, divisive person to our state. Republicans should be boycotting West, not raising money with him.”

While 1st District Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty—arguably the most high-profile Republican in the state— didn’t attend the fundraisers, Riley did. The 2nd District candidate is challenging James Langevin and has said he is willing to spend whatever it takes to win the race.

In an e-mail, Riley said he believes his race with Langevin will get much more interesting and suggested that he will continue to be presence “in both paid and earned media.”
 

Dan McGowan can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan.

 

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