Even before House Republicans unveiled their “Pledge to America” governing agenda last month, conservative pundits and tea party activists were dismissing it as feeble and hollow. Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) even turned on the GOP leadership, saying “the Pledge really didn’t go far enough.” In an interview published today in Politico, tea party-backed GOP House candidate Allen West said the Pledge deserves a “D” grade, and suggested that some Washington Republicans “whore” themselves to special interests:
West quickly staked out his ground against his party’s potential future leadership. He said the Pledge to America, championed by Boehner, deserves a grade in the “D” range. He said it was missing key policy plans on immigration, earmarks and term limits. The section on national security was “same old stuff…missile defense, rah, rah, rah,” he said.
“It’s very important that in the first 90 to 120 days that the Republican Party very quickly has to earn the trust of the American people once again,” West said. “And I don’t think that the Pledge to America went very far in gaining that trust. It’s what we call in the military, boilerplate.” [...]
“I don’t want to be up there – and I’m going to say it very clearly – I’m not going to whore myself out to special interest PACs, you know, finance or anything of that nature,” West told POLITICO.
Ironically, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) is heading to Florida today to campaign for West. But West was reticent to support the leader, saying, “If John Boehner is speaker, I’m going to hold his feet to the fire.” He also split with Boehner on several key issues, saying for example, that he doesn’t support fully repealing the Affordable Care Act because “there are parts of that health care law – preexisting coverage, things of that nature – that are good and I agree with them on.” Moreover, he pointed out that talking about repealing the law is pointless because it could not be done as long as President Obama is in office.
And like a growing number of tea party candidates, West was lukewarm about Palin’s qualifications to be president, saying, “We don’t need to be worried about who’s going to be running for president in 2012, we need to be focused on this.”