Republican congressional hopeful Allen West calls on conservative activists to ‘join me in a new dream’

February 24, 2010 04:52

By George Bennett Palm Beach Post Feb. 20, 2010

WASHINGTON — Republican congressional hopeful Allen West brought a crowd of 2,500 conservative activists to its feet this afternoon with a call to “join me in a new dream” of turning America to conservative principles.

The rousing reception at the Conservative Political Action Conference highlighted West’s recent success in getting national momentum behind his challenge of Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Klein in a Palm Beach-Broward district.

West, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, got 45.3 percent against Klein in a 2008 race in which he had little support from state or national Republicans.

This time around, West is a rising star on the right, buoyed by a 2-million-hit YouTube video that helped him raise an impressive $677,347 during the fourth quarter of 2009. The invitation to speak at CPAC, where attendees occasionally stopped West in the lobby and asked him to pose for pictures, put West in front of the nation’s most influential conservatives.

West, who is black, used his 15-minute speaking slot today to highlight his upbringing in an inner-city Atlanta neighborhood, where he said his parents taught him to work hard, believe in God and country and reject the notion of victimhood.

West spoke of the “dreams of my father” — a reference President Obama’s book of the same title — and of his mother. But he said his parents’ quintessential American dream is challenged by “the collective ideology of the liberal progressives” and their “dream that is enslaving the American people, not empowering the American people.”

“Join me in a new dream,” West said. “Join me in a dream where we will recommit this nation to the constitutional principles and values that made us great, understanding who we are from the Declaration of Independence to the Federalist Papers to the United States constitution.”

Another South Florida Republican congressional candidate, Ed Lynch, got attention for his April 13 special election race today when he appeared in an afternoon panel discussion. Conservative pundit John Fund introduced Lynch as a candidate for “the seat vacated by that loudmouth Robert Wexler in Florida that you might remember from cable television.”

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