Left-Wing Protesters Disrupt Allen West Town Hall
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 27, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And during a town hall meeting in Fort Lauderdale yesterday, liberal protesters in typical fashion began heckling Representative Colonel Allen West. But the congressman, he wasn't fazed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALLEN WEST, R-FLA.: I'm just going to tell you this. You're not going to intimidate me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Now that did not stop disrespectful liberals in the crowd. One who is reportedly a former "Air America" host was taken into police custody.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're leaving. We're leaving. You're making it worse!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're talking to the media! Can I get your name and badge number please? Excuse me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do whatever you need to do. You need to leave.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm out of here. Get your hand off of me!
UNIDENTIFED MALE: If you do not leave --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get your hands off! Get your hands off of me!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're under arrest.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (LAUGHING)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Pretty funny. Joining me with reaction, the man himself from the great state of Florida, the sunshine state Colonel Allen West. Congressman, how are you?
WEST: I'm doing very well, Sean. How are you this evening?
HANNITY: We are doing well. Well, it seems that we got a little liberal astroturfing going on because this has happened to Paul Ryan and conservatives like yourself. I watched the entire tape. I thought you handled it perfectly. What did you think?
WEST: Well, I suppose I did very well. I think the most important thing was I was not going to allow them to dominate the dialogue or take over our town hall meeting.
And as I told them that I'm not the type of guy that's going to be intimidated. I stand on facts and the truth and that's what we are going to take to the people down here in Congressional District 22.
HANNITY: You know, I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this. I don't know who this -- you know, I'm in talk radio for 20 some odd years. I don't even know who this person is, never heard of them.
But obviously, wanted to provoke some type of action, the police were polite, said leave, didn't leave, she got arrested. That's what happened.
All right, let's go to an interview. This is Nancy Pelosi talking about people that showed up at town halls, Tea Party members. Here's what she said about them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM APRIL 30, 2009)
THEN-SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF.: This initiative is funded by the high end. We call it astroturf, it is not really a grassroots movement. It's astroturf by some of the wealthiest people in America to keep focus on tax cuts for the rich instead of for the great middle class.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: All right, just a silly interpretation. Just like I would assume this is one individual or there's a series of individuals that want to make a statement. How should people that disagree with congressmen, congresswomen at town halls, how do you think they should go about asking their questions?
WEST: Well, I think that you have a process in place. For instance with our town hall meetings, you are able to fill out a question card. I address you by your name and the city that you are from.
But the thing is when you have websites that are up here in south Florida that are guiding people on how to go in and be an antagonist in our town hall meetings and try to incite some type of reaction so they can get a YouTube moment. You have to be above that and you have to be in control and not allow them to take over the town hall meeting. And I think that's where we were effective in doing.
HANNITY: Let me ask. Were you happy with the 2011 budget deal? What will it take to get you to vote for an increase in the debt ceiling?
WEST: Well, it's very simple. If we are going to talk about raising the debt ceiling, there are four important spending control measures as I call it that have to be put in place.
We got to have a balanced budget amendment. We've got to cap federal government spending I think at 20 percent. That's historical where we should be. Right now, we are at 25 percent of our GDP and it's going to grow.
I think you have to look at our corporate business tax rate. It's just 35 percent. We need to bring it down to 20, 22 percent. Take away the loopholes and subsidies. Incentivize and encourage businesses and corporations to come back to America and invest in Americans and hiring them.
But the last and most important condition I think we need is a trigger control mechanism so that when you reach a certain percentage of the debt ceiling, there are automatic spending cuts should come in because we don't need to keep doing this thing about raising the debt ceiling ever again.
HANNITY: Yes. I understand that you spent time recently with Donald Trump?
WEST: Yes, well he showed up at a Tea Party event that we had here in Boca Raton. I gave a speech. I kind of took the president to task on that speech that he gave, his mulligan budget at George Washington University. I was followed up by Mr. Trump.
HANNITY: Now you were asked if you would join the ticket if asked, with Mr. Trump, and your answer -- you kind of left it wide open. There are some that would like to you run for higher office one day. Would you consider that? Would you run with Donald Trump?
WEST: Well, I think the most important thing is this, we worked very hard to win this congressional election in 2010. The most important thing I need to do is prove myself as a capable legislator and an American statesman and win reelection in 2012.
If God has something decided for me going down the road, I will always seek to continue my service to this great nation. But right now, I'm focused on being the best possible congressman I can be for the possible in CD 22.
HANNITY: If Donald Trump or anybody else asks you to run with them, your answer?
WEST: I think they got to go to the constituents and ask them if they are willing to let me out of the oath that I took to be their congressman first and foremost before I would ever say yes.
HANNITY: If the consensus was yes, then you would say yes?
WEST: Then I would consider it, possibly if the constituents here in CD 22 thought that as a possibility. But right now, I'm focused on one thing that's to rectify the economic morass in which we find our country.
HANNITY: I agree, it's important. Thank you, Congressman. I appreciate it. I thought you handled that perfectly.
WEST: Thanks for having me, Sean.
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