Rep. Allen West, R-Fort Lauderdale, does not like the fact that a strong majority of Americans disapproves of Congress and is pinning the blame on Republicans. According to a recent interview with Politico, West thinks the Democratic Party’s messaging is the reason for the belief — messaging he says Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels would be impressed with.
“If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat Party because they have an incredible propaganda machine,” West told reporters in the Capitol. “I think that you have, and let’s be honest, you know, some of the people in the media are complicit in this, in enabling them to get that type of message out.”
The freshman Republican, whose district is in heavily Jewish South Florida, said his reference to Goebbels wasn’t designed to link Democrats to the overall Nazi party.
“I’m talking about propaganda, OK,” he said. “Don’t start taking my words and twisting it around. I’m talking about propaganda. And I think that’s a very important thing. When you tell me that everyone thinks that the only people on Capitol Hill are House Republicans, it’s because that’s what’s being portrayed, is that there’s nobody else up here.”
“Once again, you guys will take whatever I say and you will spin it to try to demonize me or demagogue me,” West added. “What I’m talking about is a person that was the minister of propaganda. And I’m talking about propaganda. So please. I’ll be prepared to wake up tomorrow and you guys make up some crazy story. Whatever.”
West added that Republicans “need to do a better job of being messengers.”
West has earned national criticism for speaking aggressively when discussing or talking to political opponents. He once sent an email to colleague Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Pembroke Pines, calling her “vile, unprofessional, and despicable,” “a coward,” “characterless” and “not a Lady.” He demanded that the current Democratic National Committee Chairwoman “shut the heck up.” West has also called supporters of President Obama “a threat to the gene pool” and has claimed that liberal women “neutering American men” were to blame for the country’s growing debt.
His attitude toward his opponents is already being used against him. One of his Democratic opponents, Patrick Murphy, has presented his candidacy as a foil to West’s “extremism.”
West’s 2012 reelection bid is expected to be one of the most competitive races in the country. West, a tea party favorite, is a firebrand who is known for his extreme rhetoric, making him a favorite in right-wing circles and an easy target for the left.