Open thread: Rep. Allen West at CPAC; Update: Video of speech added

Congressman Allan West will shortly address CPAC as its final keynote speaker. Before going backstage, West visited the Blogger Lounge, where he took a few questions from the bloggers. I asked him about the debt ceiling, and West said that any hike in the debt ceiling requires a number of concessions, including a spending cap and a balanced-budget amendment.  He also said that the freshman Republicans flexed their muscle on Capitol Hill this week, and that’s just the beginning:

Update: Allen West got a rousing ovation from the CPAC crowd for a much different speech than one that would have been given by the straw poll winner.  He spoke of moral courage, steadfast defense against enemies, and a big ovation when he pledged that he would never allow America to abandon Israel to the extent within his power.  The reception of West’s traditional conservative speech exposed the unrepresentative nature of the straw poll.

Update II: In case you missed it, here’s the entire speech, which The Right Scoop also has up at his site: