GOP Rep: Rubio should be "ashamed" for not backing Arizona law
It isn't every day that an aspiring GOP candidate positions himself to the right of Marco Rubio and whacks the Tea Party darling as a squishy liberal, but that's exactly what Allen West of Florida, who's vying to unseat Dem Rep Ron Klein, did in an interview.
West, speaking to Sirius Satellite Radio, tore into Rubio, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, and the national Republican Party for not fully backing the Arizona imimigration law. He claimed Rubio and Bush should be "ashamed" of themselves and suggested they were content to let America slide into "lawlessness."
"The national Republican party is not coming out and being supportive of the governor of Arizona and standing with her," West said. "If we do not stand for the rule of law, if we do not stand for America as a constitutional republic, if we believe in lawlessness and the breakdown of society, who are we as a party?"
West singled out Rubio and Jeb Bush for not voicing support for the law: "That is absolutely the wrong position and they should be ashamed of themselves for doing that." Audio here.
West is quite the lively fellow. He recently told a crowd of Tea Partiers that they ought to make his Dem opponent "scared to come out of his house," though he later claimed his remarks had been taken out of context. Yet West is no fringe character. Earlier this year he was named one of the NRCC's "Young Guns."
West's broadside over immigration shows the divisive potential the Arizona law has for Republicans. It provides candidates like West an opportunity to make Rubio look moderate in comparison -- a remarkable feat, given that Rubio himself just drove a genuine moderate (Charlie Crist) out of the GOP for good.
May 4, 2010; 2:53 PM ET
Categories: 2010 elections , Immigration , Tea Party
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