Matt Lewis says, “When Laura Ingraham and Rep. Allen West are calling out the Tea Party, you know something’s up[.]” As it turns out, some of the Tea Party attack on Allen West turned out to be a misunderstanding, but West takes the opportunity to support John Boehner and remind people that Harry Reid’s plan cuts defense spending. Laura Ingraham pledges her support to West as she scolds some conservatives for attacking West for attempting the possible:
As I said on the air yesterday in an interview, any definition of “fiscal conservative” that doesn’t include Paul Ryan and Allen West is one that I can’t recognize. West defends himself and the Republican caucus well enough, so I don’t need to recap it, but West has a point when he asks what he’s voting for if people demand that he vote against Boehner 1.1.
Besides, the entire notion that the Tea Party Nation would push for a primary against West is based on a faulty media report. Judson Phillips, its founder and CEO, repudiated that notion entirely in a statement later in the morning:
Setting the Record Straight
There is a story in The Hill that a group of Tea Party organizations is threatening a primary challenge against a number of Freshmen Congressmen including Allen West. This story says a press release has been issued with Tea Party Nation supporting an effort to push a primary challenge against Allen West.
Tea Party Nation has NEVER said we want to see a primary challenge against Allen West. West has been a staunch Tea Party supporter and though we strongly disagree with his support of the really terrible John Boehner plan, West has been an overwhelmingly good Congressman and we would be hard pressed to find someone better.
The group that put this press release out used Tea Party Nation’s name without our permission. No one at TPN was shown this press release in advance. Had we been shown that press release, we would have vetoed the use of our name.
We still call for a primary challenge to John Boehner and there maybe some Republicans who deserve a primary challenge, but Allen West is not one of those.
To be absolutely clear, neither Tea Party Nation, nor Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips support this effort.
We specifically repudiate it.
Not that there is anything wrong with primary challenges anyway, of course. That’s a perfectly legitimate way to push for policy goals, and the Tea Party in general made good use of them in 2010. However, targeting Allen West of all people for being insufficiently conservative would have been a fast track to irrelevancy, and Phillips certainly understands that.