No one was surprised when CNN posed a Black Lives Matter question to the five Democratic presidential nominees last week; and everyone was even less surprised with their resulting answers.

On Friday, I was able to talk to former Congressman and Lieutenant Colonel Allen West at the Massachusetts Family Institute banquet just outside of Boston and get his take on whether the nation needs to define which lives matter most. (As a note, the background noise was rather loud, so a full transcript of his remarks is below.)

Transcript:

Without a doubt, all lives matter. And I think you have to be very concerned about the patronizing statement that was made at the [Democratic] presidential debate this past Tuesday night.

And when you think about, if Black lives truly matter, then why hasn’t President Obama or Hillary Clinton gone to Chicago, their hometown, where we have seen countless amounts of murders there and black on black crime?

 Martin O’Malley, who is the former mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland, what is he doing about what’s going on in the intercity in Baltimore.

 And to all of them – they’re standing by Planned Parenthood – think about the fact that since Roe vs. Wade, 1973, somewhere between 13 and 16 million black babies have been aborted. That’s genocidal. During slavery, only 2 to 3 million blacks lost their lives.

So, do black lives matter? I think that’s just a tag line. It’s just them playing politics. I don’t think they truly mean anything. But all lives matter. Let’s make sure we have the policies to ensure equality of opportunities and a better future for all children, all people in this country, and not just cherry picking based upon politics.

Lt. Colonel West’s statement stands for itself, but I’ll leave you with this: Coming up on the next GOP debate, if the networks decide to spend less time on in-field bickering and analyzing Trump, can Republicans successfully navigate this messaging? Should they be proactive in saying that all lives matter all the time and find ways to skillfully wade through the complicated issues at the core of race relations in America?

My bet: This gets lost in the murky water that is everything taboo for a successful Republican campaign.