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Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 01/ 2/2011

Allen West: 'I didn't learn anything' from aide controversy

By Matt DeLong

During an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Rep.-elect Allen West (R-Fla.) said he "didn't learn anything" from a firestorm that erupted over his original choice for chief of staff.

Days after his election, West, a tea party favorite, hired bombastic conservative Florida radio host Joyce Kaufman as his top aide. Kaufman immediately grabbed headlines for statements that included referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as "garbage," calling for illegal immigrants to be hanged and saying that "if ballots don't work, bullets will."

Kaufman resigned shortly after being hired, on the same day that Broward County, Fla., schools were locked down after Kaufman received an e-mailed threat in which the writer reportedly said she was the inspiration.

"I didn't learn anything from it," West said Sunday of the brouhaha. "You just adjust and continue on." He dismissed the controversy as "an attack from the left" and said "there were other issues with that," but did not elaborate. Shortly after Kaufman resigned, West, who is black, blamed the controversy on the left's "racism" and "misogynistic behavior."

West also stood by previous comments in which he described the Democratic-controlled government as "tyrannical," "socialist" and "despicable."

"This liberal progressive agenda ... is the antithesis of who we are as a constitutional republic," West said.

West chastised incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) for his defense of what West has characterized as a lax work schedule. Cantor 's office responded to a letter from West about the House calendar by saying that "more days in session has always resulted in bigger, more intrusive government, not more production." West said Sunday that Cantor's response was "very disconcerting" and said the House is "going to have to be working harder."

On the policy front, West said he doesn't think the government will be forced to shut down, but he did not say what would happen if Congress cannot reach an agreement on raising the rapidly approaching debt limit. He said the only way he would talk about raising the debt ceiling is if it was accompanied by a conversation about spending limits.

"It's not going to be a blank check that comes from Allen West," he said.

This post has been updated for clarity after reviewing the transcript.

By Matt DeLong  | January 2, 2011; 10:20 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Election, 44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing  
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Comments

about Joyce Kaufman's "controversial comments" - she didn't say that illegal immigrants should be hanged. Just those who commit crimes.

Not to let that get in the way of everyone's liberal rants.

Posted by: GreenRepub | January 5, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Inability or refusal to learn from one's mistakes generally is a sign of either limited intelligence or overweening arrogance. Or both.

Allen West is a nutcase who was forced to retire from the Army for violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice. And after 22 years in the Army, he had only reached the rank of Lt. Col. (by comparison, Colin Powell got his first star after 21 years). Not a very impressive resume.

And to think that the govt. won't be shut down if the debt ceiling isn't raised is about as blatant a display of either ignorance or stupidity as there could be.

Posted by: luridone | January 4, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

So the good Lt. Col. doesn't like learning from his mistakes.

How many dead American soldiers would it take for him to change his tune?

Posted by: Garak | January 3, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

So West "didn't learn anything" from his screw-up.

I'll bet the men under his command would have really gained confidence if they heard their CO refused to learn from his mistakes.

What a disgrace to the uniform!

Posted by: Garak | January 3, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

West describes the Democratic-controlled government as "tyrannical," "socialist" and "despicable." Pretty accurate! So naturally, the WAPO will try their best to bring down West, a real war hero.

Posted by: kfstewart | January 3, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

To have a man who was dishonorably discharged from the Army...be elected to Congress and make the statements that Col. West has made just verifies the fact that he is like a bowl of granola: what ain't fruits or nuts is flakes!!

Posted by: B767400 | January 3, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I salute West. He represents the Constitutional Republic we were and trying to remain. In my view, it's Obama (a puppet for global leftists) that wants to "transform" America. Improvement is always possible but "transformation" is not something traditional America and Americans want. We have been the last bastion for freedom and personal liberty. I for one want to stay that way and West will unceasingly work to maintain those cherished precepts.

Posted by: valeryane | January 3, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I salute West. He represents the Constitutional Republic we were and trying to remain. In my view, it's Obama (a puppet for global leftists) that wants to "transform" America. Improvement is always possible but "transformation" is not something traditional America and Americans want. We have been the last bastion for freedom and personal liberty. I for one want to stay that way and West will unceasingly work to maintain those cherished precepts.

Posted by: valeryane | January 3, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I salute West. He represents the Constitutional Republic we were and trying to remain. In my view, it's Obama (a puppet for global leftists) that wants to "transform" America. Improvement is always possible but "transformation" is not something traditional America and Americans want. We have been the last bastion for freedom and personal liberty. I for one want to stay that way and West will unceasingly work to maintain those cherished precepts.

Posted by: valeryane | January 3, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

West is probably the 1st person in history to be dishonorably discharged from the military and elected to congress. Some honor! The guy can't even get most VA benefits but is elegible for VA health care yet wants to repeal HCR.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | January 3, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Go West! I don't think he was surprised by any of it. If you expect something may happen, how is that an enlightening, new learning experience?

www.oneconservativevoice.wordpress.com

Posted by: rhondaonecvoice | January 3, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Mr. West is just another example of how far "right" the Republican party has moved. The new Republicans have found that they can gather attention by just saying something so far out that people just shake their heads, but the news says, "Come on my show". He was probably just auditioning for his next job--FOX NEWS "expert".

Posted by: pgmichigan | January 3, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

"I didn't learn anything from the aide controversy."

Sigh, not surprised.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | January 3, 2011 8:22 AM | Report abuse

West is certainly full of himself, considering he's a freshman Representative who probably still needs to be shown his way to the House cafeteria.

You can't beat him for entertainment value, though. I'm sure we're going to be entertained regularly by this bombastic blowhard over the next two years.

I doubt it will be any longer than that.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | January 3, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Dear God, it must be catching. I see there seem to several belonging to the same party and as nutty as West posting comments on here. We can only hope those who are not certifiable nut cases will be able to strait jacket the West’s and the rest of those who only got elected because sane and reasonable people from both sides of the aisle didn't see what their staying home would inflict upon the country in time. I don't think it will happen again. 2012 will be a different election.

Posted by: alaskan2 | January 3, 2011 7:14 AM | Report abuse

The sooner Allen West is President, the better.

Posted by: 1911a1 | January 3, 2011 7:07 AM | Report abuse

You is what you is, Allen West.

Thaat's my opinion.

Posted by: MyOpinionCounts | January 2, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

West and his Tea Party friends are destroying the Republican Party. Their shotgun big mouth utterances will, if not supressed, bring discedit to the Congress.

What say you Mr. Tea Party West?

Tht's my opinion.

Posted by: MyOpinionCounts | January 2, 2011 8:58 PM | Report abuse

It's a shame Obama became the first black president as opposed to this fine example of a Black man. West is a military hero who loves America, Obama has nothing but contempt for America and Americans.

Posted by: cleancut77 | January 2, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

girard73 ... you're simply a simpleton.

Allen West might well be the nation's first full Black President in the future.

All the excitement from the left regarding their historic 50 percenter (a/k/a B. H. Obama) will be over shadowed by a highly experienced and competent full black American.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | January 2, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

This man has no clue, no brain and/or no heart.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | January 2, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey, wewintheylose, are you as stupid as you seem? Your comment "Of course he didn't learn anything new. Leftists were, and always will be the most destructive, evil force on planet earth..

West is a Wingnut Republican Teabagger you a**hole. Of course he didn't learn anything from his experience.

Posted by: girard73 | January 2, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Of course West didn't learn anything from his highly controversial "nutty" Congressional Aid pick, Joyce Kaufman, when in fact, he is just as nutty as she is.

There is nothing controversial when all nut cases think alike and West is one strange nut case.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | January 2, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

As with the Fort Hood shooter and Joe Miller, what really conerns me is how people this obviously - OBVIOUSLY - warped rise as high in our voluteer, "professional" military as they do.

If we are this desperate, we HAVE to go back to a draft and pray that some who may not have considered the military as a career will.

Posted by: edismae | January 2, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

According to wewintheylose, "Leftists were, and always will be the most destructive, evil force on planet earth."

Really? Worse than murderers, child abusers, wife beaters, Hitler, Pol Pot, Bernie Madoff, et al.?

I see your redundant, unimaginative and hyperbolic rants all over the Post web site. I've begun to think that you're actually parodying far right-wingers. If you're for real, it's a pretty sad situation.

Posted by: wildpotato | January 2, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

No, califobserver, what we have watched the last 2 years has been insane. The only thing that kept the insanity to 2 years was George Bush. Otherwise, the insane congress has been in office for 4 years. THEY ARE NO LONGER THE MAJORITY. The progressive/liberal/marxists have been silenced by REAL AMERICANS. Pelosi and the dem congress had only a 13% approval rating. If Obama does not get in step with the American people, you will see his approval rating plummet more. Obama does not represent you and me, he represents those who pay him - union bosses, big business, Wall St and George Soros. Sadly, those same people pay the WaPo. That is why we do not get the truth from the WaPo.

Posted by: annnort | January 2, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Liberals have gotten us into this financial mess and it will take hardcore conservatives such as West to get us out.

Posted by: tulsa_dave | January 2, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

So glad to see Allen West in Congress. We need more real conservatives to reverse the insanity of the out of control spending.

Posted by: joanne600 | January 2, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Allen West has more soul than 10,000 Comrade Barrys.

Posted by: LePauvrePapillon | January 2, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

For all you brainiacs, why did the writer neglect to mention that the one who caused the school shutdown was a member of the liberal "Green Party" as reported by the New Times of Boca Raton?

Posted by: jeromeandbetty | January 2, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

For all you brainiacs, why did the writer neglect to mention that the one who caused the school shutdown was a member of the liberal "Green Party" as reported by the New Times of Boca Raton?

Posted by: jeromeandbetty | January 2, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Florida, be careful what you wish (vote) for. The problem is that we may all have to "pay" for your mistake.

Posted by: lkr1 | January 2, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Of course he didn't learn anything new. Leftists were, and always will be the most destructive, evil force on planet earth..

Posted by: wewintheylose | January 2, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

One thing I learned is to never pay any attention to anything this nutcase says in the future. I hope the media has learned this lesson too.

Posted by: PepperDr | January 2, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"On the policy front, West said he doesn't think the government will be shut down if Congress cannot reach an agreement on raising the rapidly approaching debt limit."

There's a brainiac for you! Apparently in the land of tea, government spending will be on auto-pilot while they search the budget for "wasteful spending" that, when eliminated, will miraculously balance the budget. Hold on tight because it's going to be insane to watch...

Posted by: CalifObserver | January 2, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

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