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Allen West accuses Obama of wanting Americans to 'be his slave'

July 02, 2012|By Morgan Little

WASHINGTON – Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) said at a campaign event Sunday that President Obama would β€œrather you be his slave,” yet another instance of the congressman making outrageous remarks that grabbed attention.

“He does not want you to have the self-esteem of getting up and earning and having that title of American,” he said in Port Saint Lucie, Fla. “He’d rather you be his slave.”

West’s statements were videotaped and aired by Florida’s WPTV.

West, a tea party favorite, has a history of making outlandish remarks to supporters. He declared in April that 78 to 81 Democratic members of Congress were “card-carrying Marxist socialists,” said in 2011 that being gay was akin to choosing to like chocolate chip ice cream and has fought a public dispute with the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, over remarks West delivered on the House floor.

Sunday wasn’t the first time West has connected Democrats to slavery; a speech he delivered in the House in February drew fire for its portrayal of Democratic “handouts.”

“We [Republicans] reject the idea of the safety net becoming a hammock. For this reason, the Republican value of minimizing government dependence is particularly beneficial to the poorest among us,” he said. “Conversely, the Democratic appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today, and it does not promote economic freedom."

West, whose congressional district was switched to the new District 18 during 2010’s redistricting, is facing a primary challenge to his candidacy from Martin County Sheriff Bob Crowder, who told the TV station that he was “offended by some of the things [West] says and does.”

The primary is Aug. 14.

morgan.little@latimes.com

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