Rep. Allen West, R-Fort Lauderdale (Pic by Debra Todd)
Rep. Allen West, R-Fort Lauderdale (Pic by Debra Todd)

Rep. West defends Joyce Kaufman on Fox News Sunday, says she helped pick replacement

By | 01.03.11 | 1:12 pm

Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace invited on U.S. Sen.-elect Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rep.-elect Allen West, R-Fla. — perhaps the two 2010 candidates for Congress most faithful to the grassroots of the tea party  — and asked them both about whom they picked for their chiefs of staff. In response, West defended his controversial selection of Joyce Kaufman, a talk radio host who said, “If ballots don’t work, then bullets will” at a Fourth of July rally.

Kaufman resigned after The Florida Independent and other outlets reported on her incendiary comments.

Wallace asked West if he had learned anything from the Joyce Kaufman pick.

“Well, I think first of all, what you saw was an attack from the left against Joyce Kaufman and there are some other issues with that, but they did not play the full clip of her speech when she gave that, I think it was the Fourth of July,” West answered. ”So once again, it was the editing sound biting. And I didn’t learn anything from it, because you just adjust and you continue on. So Joyce Kaufman was a very instrumental and helpful person in our campaign and she was the one that interviewed my current chief of staff because she knows the good match.”

Kauffman drew controversy for saying, “If ballots don’t work, then bullets will” ahead of Election Day. But context doesn’t change the original meaning — in fact, she egged on others to highlight these comments:

I don’t care how this gets painted by the MSM; I don’t care if this shows up on YouTube. Because I am convinced that the important thing the Founding Fathers did to ensure my First Amendment rights was that they gave me a Second Amendment. And If ballots don’t work, bullets will. I’ve never in my life thought that the day would come that I would tell individual citizens that you are responsible for being the militia that the founding fathers designed — they were very specific. You need to be prepared to fight tyranny: whether it comes from outside or it comes from inside.

True, she didn’t call for assassination of the president: “The only way he goes home in 2012 is with ballots.” But she continued on, calling for the assembly of a militia in the “outreaches of Vermont and New Hampshire” and in the “hills of Kentucky.”

After controversy erupted, Kaufman withdrew and West picked a new chief of staff.

It’s factually false to suggest that Kaufman’s comments were edited à la Shirley Sherrod — the words in Kaufman’s nine-minute speech outside a strip mall in Fort Lauderdale on July 4, 2010, speak for themselves:

Luke Johnson reports on Florida for The American Independent.

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