Allen West Brushes Off His Shoulders

by Robert Costa

Freshman Rep. Allen West (R., Fla.), a tea-party star, is under pressure:

Several Tea Party organizations are working to punish conservative Republicans who plan to vote yes on Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) debt-ceiling proposal. Tea Party leaders announced Thursday that they are targeting Republican Reps. James Lankford (Okla.), Allen West (Fla.), Mike Kelly (Pa.) and Bill Flores (Texas), all four freshmen and declared yes votes for Boehner. . . . West has been particularly vocal in his support of Boehner’s plan, which many consider a surprise endorsement by the Tea Party firebrand not known for falling into line behind his party’s leadership.

In an interview with National Review Online this morning, West was defiant. When asked about whether he is worried about the heat, he looked me straight in the eye, stayed silent, lifted his hands and brushed off both of his shoulders, Jay-Z style.

“The Taliban targeted me, al-Qaeda targeted me and I’m still alive,” West smiled. He praised Boehner for adjusting the debt-limit bill, calling it a “good move.” The proposal, he said, “does not have tax hikes and is not a clean raise of the debt ceiling. For the first time in the history of the nation, we are having a debt-limit increase with real spending cuts. What more could you want?”

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