Daniel Doherty

My suspicion is that Allen West has been itching to get back to Capitol Hill for quite some time now. And his fans might just get their wish if Marco Rubio runs for president in 2016 (via the Tampa Bay Times):

Former Rep. Allen West is sounding a different note about challenging Sen. Marco Rubio in 2016. But if Rubio runs for president, "of course" he'll run for Senate.

“I’m not looking to create disruption within our party. I don’t think it’s a viable option, right now,” West told the Buzz on Wednesday as he got off the Metro at Union Station. …

Still, true to form, West on Wednesday did not close the door completely: “I’m not saying what I will do or what I won’t do. But I’m not looking to be disruptive. I’m about the American team. I’m about doing whatever I can to help the Republican Party. But I’m going to stick to my principles.”

He was certain about one thing: If Rubio runs for president, West will go for the Senate seat. "If that became an open seat, of course I would run. I have a good statewide appeal and a lot of people would like me to get back on Capitol Hill.”

West served one bombastic term in Congress before being defeated by Democrat Patrick Murphy. In the interview, West blamed the "establishment" GOP in Tallahassee for redrawing his district, forcing him to run in another.

This much is true: One of the most devastating congressional losses for conservatives in 2012 was when Allen West was narrowly defeated by Democrat Patrick Murphy. And unsurprisingly, Tea Party people now want him back in Congress. West, of course, has a reputation for being a fiery debater and an inspiring (if at times politically incorrect) public speaker. He would thus be a welcomed addition to the Cruz/Paul/Lee faction in the upper chamber, if for no other reason than that the Left would go absolutely ballistic.

But even if Rubio did run for president in 2016, I can’t imagine that he wouldn’t also run for re-election as well, right? -- as Congressman Paul Ryan did in 2012. Does that mean West would essentially have to primary him? I guess so. My hunch is that Rubio harbors presidential ambitions himself -- and wouldn’t want to run for president in 2016 unless he knew he would also likely keep his Senate seat if and when he lost the nomination. Of course, it’s also possible that Rubio doesn’t run for president at all -- and focuses exclusively on running for re-election. Who knows? We’ll see what happens. But either way, it seems, Allen West isn’t ready to leave the limelight just yet. And for conservatives, that's probably a good thing.

(H/T: The Right Scoop)


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography