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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Allen West: Challenger a "chump," blacks gain little by supporting Democrats



   U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Palm Beach Gardens, has a knack for bold statements and his appearance at a luncheon for black conservatives at Tampa’s Avila Country Club Wednesday was no different.
With more than 100 people in attendance, Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll acknowledged West and reminded the audience he faced a general election challenge in November.
   "Yeah, but he's a chump," West retorted. When reminded that media members were present, West stood up and said, "That's C-H-U-M-P."
West is being challenged by Democrat Patrick Murphy.
   During his turn to speak at the luncheon, which was hosted by the Quarles & Brady law firm, West spoke of the fact Democrats constantly attack black Republicans. He then turned to two reporters and said, "That's the most racist party I've ever seen in my life and you don't call them out."
   West also said the black community has invested all its political capital in one party and questioned the return on investment given the 14 percent black unemployment rate, that 40 percent of black teenagers are unemployed and that black families have lost 11 percent of their median income in the last three years.
   “There is no other group more conservative on Sunday than the black community,” West said. “But somebody has to tell me what happens on Monday through Saturday.
   “That’s what we have to change, and that’s what I see changing.”
-- Ernest Hooper, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 6:05pm]


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