RNC Chair Stands Up for Allen West

Posted: Jul 04, 2012 6:00 PM

RNC Chair Reince Priebus recently stood up for GOP Florida Rep. Allen West in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, who queried Priebus about West's recent remarks concerning economic slavery under President Obama.

West recently made the following observations about the president and dependence on government, as reported by ABC News:

"During his remarks, which included emphasizing the importance of lowering taxes, minimizing regulations on business and bringing jobs back to the Treasure Coast, West slammed President Obama, particularly on jobs.

“Self-esteem comes from doing esteemable things. Sitting at home and getting a check from the government is not going to help your self-esteem. What it will do is make you an economic slave to people living in a far, far, distant place,” West said on Sunday.

“He does not want you to have the self-esteem of getting up and earning and having that title of ‘American,’” the congressman said of the president. “He’d rather you be his slave and be economically dependent upon him.”

Blitzer, according to Politico, took the opportunity to grill the RNC chair on these remarks, but Priebus refused to indulge in any backbiting:

"Asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Tuesday whether he would justify the Florida congressman’s remarks, Priebus answered, “I’m not the police officer of the Republican Party.”

He later added, “Allen West is an important member of Congress from South Florida. I’m not going to throw Allen West in a ditch.”

“Allen can say what Allen wants to say, but I think what he’s really trying to say is that if we become a dependent society, if everyone is reliant on the government — I mean, listen,” Priebus told Blitzer. “Barack Obama’s the one that put out this ‘Life of Julia’ website. I think we all know what that is. It’s a life of a girl from preschool to, I think, death or near death showing how every step of her life — “

“Is she a slave?” Blitzer interrupted.

Priebus shot back, “You know what? Listen, it’s semantics.”

But before he could finish, Blitzer once again cut in, saying, “I deplore that kind of language when a Democrat says it or a Republican. We shouldn’t be talking like this. It’s bad enough, the lack of civility in our politics.”

Still, the RNC chairman continued to defend West.

You know what else is uncivil? Having Paul Ryan sit in the front row when you're giving a speech and then blasting his economic policy. Not saying, of course, that the uncivility in one instance excuses it in another, but it begs the question: at what point does government regulation become so oppressive that you are, in fact, mobile in name only to pursue your dreams and live your life without your school lunch meal or health care being government-regulated?