OTR Interviews

Allen West: Rangel 'stuck on stupid' for slander of tea party

Veteran congressman says many tea partiers 'don't believe the Union won' the Civil War. Allen West fires back

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 30, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Democratic Representative Charles Rangel saying the Tea Party does not believe the union won the Civil War.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. CHARLES RANGEL, D-NY: In some parts of the United States of America, they don't believe that the union won. As I never saw that many union uniforms, I have never seen so many Confederate flags that represent groups that are proud of the fact that they call themselves the Tea Party. They are from that part of the country that the states owned slaves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: And former congressman Allen West joins us. Good evening, sir.

ALLEN WEST, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: Good evening, Greta, how are you?

VAN SUSTEREN: Good. Do you interpret what the congressman, Rangel, said is that it is all tea party members or just a few sort of stray members or maybe rogue members? How do you interpret what he said?

WEST: First of all I would say that his comments reflect a gentleman stuck on stupid. I was recently out in Colorado, as a matter of fact I posted a picture on my Facebook page, of the Rocky Mountain Black Tea Party. That, in fact, should totally discredit any of the comments that Charlie Rangel has made.

Then you also have a representative, Benny Thompson, who was on the new Nation of Islam radio show and he called Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an "Uncle Tom." What you have, Greta, are these members of the Congressional Black Caucus who have to create this strawman or this deception because they are really not dealing with the interests and the issues that are facing their constituencies.

When you think about Charlie Rangel, he should be speaking out about Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is trying to dismantle the charter school program in New York City. Success Academy right there in Harlem. They are not talking about the 12 percent unemployment rate in the black community. They are not talking about the 0.1 percent GDP growth, which obviously means that there is definitely not economic growth within our inner city and urban environments. So, this is just a strawman argument. This is just politics as usual.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why do they do that? You know because everybody goes into politics, whether you agree with a person or not, with the sense of trying to make things better. Now, I realize some have been in politics an awful long time and lose that thought, but, I mean, why are they doing that?

WEST: It's very simple: Because you have a constituency that is trapped on a liberal, progressive, economic plantation of the 21st century. They [politicians] want to make sure that they stay there. They want to make sure that they continue to demonize and castigate constitutional conservatives, irrespective of color or irrespective of race or gender or any of those divisive factors that the liberals like to use because they are afraid of losing control and losing power.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, every single group I have ever seen, both sides of the political spectrum in the middle and even nonpolitical groups, there is always a few rogue people. They always, you know, a few, for lack of a better word, to not destroy it for everybody else, but what I find troubling is sort of when you sort of seize upon the rogue person, the nut, the one who is trying to destroy and sort of try to tarnish an entire group that might have a completely different thought or perspective or goal. That's what bothers me.

WEST: And it should bother us all. I have spoken at countless amount of conservative grass roots events, tea party events and I have never seen a Confederate flag there. What I believe is that do you have people, they come and they infiltrate so that they can create that one single moment, that optic that people like a Charlie Rangel or others on the left can use to say that these people are racist or what have you. Well, that's not the case. They're all about issues and better opportunities and the promise and restoration of the American dream.

VAN SUSTEREN: And I forgot, that is one other category, besides sort of the rogue person. You have those who deliberately come in to infiltrate and create an impression about a whole group, you know, obviously -- you know, trying to do some shenanigans to hurt people. Anyway, congressman, nice to talk to you. Thank you, sir.

WEST: Always a pleasure. Thank you, Greta.