What The Media Should Know About GOP Surrogate And Fox News Contributor Allen West

Fox News contributor Allen West is endorsing and holding events for GOP candidates and organizations across the country. Republicans are accepting West's help despite his history of toxic remarks, including calling President Obama an “Islamist” and “disgusting racist,” attacking feminists for “neutering American men,” and smearing Democrats as communists, Nazis, and anti-Semites.

Allen West Is Endorsing Republican Candidates Across The Country

West Created The Allen West Guardian Fund To Support Republican Candidates. The Allen West Guardian Fund states it “was established as a PAC to support conservative military veteran and minority Republicans running for state and federal office, in the same vein as Allen West.” West wrote in an email that he has “hand-picked 14 hard-charging conservatives that I know we can count on to bring conservative values back to Washington and I'm doing everything in my power to see that they are successful.” [AllenWestGuardianFund.com, accessed 8/20/14; Allen West Guardian Fund email, 8/19/14

West Is Endorsing At Least Nine 2014 Candidates. West's endorsements include Dan Bongino (MD-6), Tom Cotton (AR-Senate), Joni Ernst (IA-Senate), Will Hurd (TX-23), Larry Kaifesh (Il-8), Barry Loudermilk (GA-11), Mia Love (UT-4), Lee Zeldin (NY-1), and Ryan Zinke (MT-At Large). He also promotes candidates “to watch” on his website, including Jorge Bonilla (FL-9). [AllenWestGuardianFund.com, accessed 8/20/14

West Attends Numerous Events For Republican Candidates. West has been participating in numerous events for Republicans candidates this election cycle such as Tom Cotton (AR-Senate), Dan Bongino (MD-6), and Mia Love (UT-4). [Arkansas Times, 5/16/14; ConstantContact.com, accessed 8/20/14]

West Is Keynoting Republican Party Fundraisers. West has been participating in numerous Republican Party fundraisers. West has headlined events for the Sarasota Republican Party (FL), Palm Beach County Republican Party (FL), and Knox County Republican Party (TN), among others. [Media Matters, 2/26/14]

Media On West's Support: “Controversial,” “Extremist,” Won't Appeal To Mainstream Voters

Arkansas Times' Brantley: “Do You Really Want To Be Seen” With West? Arkansas Times writer Max Brantley noted West's history of incendiary remarks and wondered why Arkansas Senate candidate Tom Cotton accepted the support of an “extremist.” Brantley added: “Do you really want to be seen in public with this kind of person when mainstream voters will decide this election? It's another striking comment on Cotton's lack of judgment.” [Arkansas Times, 5/16/14]

Newsday: “He's Not Going To Appeal To The District's Democrats And Some Non-Aligned Voters.” Newsday's Washington correspondent Tom Brune reported on West's upcoming September 8 event with New York congressional candidate Lee Zeldin, and noted that West is “a controversial tea-party hero” who “will fire up Zeldin's conservative followers, but he's not going to appeal to the district's Democrats and some non-aligned voters.” [Newsday, 8/14/14]

West's Smear Of Duckworth Became Campaign Baggage For Republican Challenger. In May, West questioned the “loyalties” of decorated veteran and Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D) for serving with her fellow Democrats on the Benghazi select committee. The attack became a campaign issue, as Duckworth's campaign criticized challenger Larry Kaifesh for accepting West's support. Media outlets, including the Chicago Sun-Times and Daily Herald, covered the controversy. [Media Matters, 5/22/14Daily Herald, 5/23/14; Chicago Sun-Times, 5/22/14]

West Smears Democrats As Racists, Communists, Nazis, Slaveholders

West Called Obama And Attorney General Holder “Vile And Disgusting Racists.” West wrote of President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder: “How long will it be before 'you people' realize you have elevated someone to the office of president who abjectly despises you -- not to mention his henchman Holder. Combined they are the most vile and disgusting racists.” [AllenBWest.com, 1/14/14, via Media Matters]  

West: “Barack Hussein Obama Is An Islamist.” West wrote on his website that Obama “is purposefully enabling the Islamist cause” and concluded: “Sorry, but I can only explain this one way: Barack Hussein Obama is an Islamist in his foreign policy perspectives and supports their cause. You can go back and listen to his 2009 speech in Cairo, where Muslim Brotherhood associates were seated front and center.” West repeated his claim in the media, telling Boston Herald Radio that “deep down inside, you know, Barack Hussein Obama has an Islamist sympathy ... I don't understand where this president's loyalties lie, and I have to ask the question, whose side is he on?” [AllenBWest.com, 8/13/14; Boston Herald Radio, Trending Now, 8/19/14]

West's Response To Whether Obama Is A Muslim: “The President Has An Eastern Orientation, I'll Put It That Way.” At a July 12 event hosted by Republicans, West didn't dispute an audience member who falsely claimed that “Obama is a Muslim.” Instead, West responded that he's “not going to get into that” but the president “has an Eastern orientation, I'll put it that way.” He later added: “Don't care whether or not he's a Muslim. I care about his orientation. And his association.” [Media Matters, 7/15/14]

West Said Holder Is A “Worse Threat” Than Al Qaeda. In a fundraising email, West claimed that Holder was a “bigger threat to our Republic” than terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri, a former deputy of Osama bin Laden. [Media Matters, 6/7/13]

West: “The Democrat Party Is An Anti-Semitic Party.” During an interview on Boston Herald Radio, West claimed Obama was “withholding” aid to Israel, and that the “Democrat Party is an anti-Semitic party.” [Boston Herald Radio, Trending Now, 8/19/14]

West Compared Democrats To Nazis, Called Media “Complicit.” West told reporters in December 2011: “If Joseph Goebbels was around, he'd be very proud of the Democrat Party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine ... Let's be honest, you know, some of the people in the media are complicit with this and enabling them to get that type of message out.” [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

West Falsely Accused Dozens Of Congressional Democrats Of Being Communists. West accused roughly 80 Democratic House members of being “members of the Communist Party. ... It's called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.” [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

West Invokes Slavery To Attack Democrats. West has claimed that Democrats are keeping black voters on a “plantation.” He also said that “the Democratic appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today” and President Obama would “rather you be his slave.” [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

West Uses Toxic Rhetoric Against Women

West Agreed With Radio Host That “Khmer Rouge Feminists” Are Attempting A “Coup” Against The Military. During an appearance on Michael Savage's radio program, West agreed with Savage's assertion that “Khmer Rouge feminists” are attempting a “coup” against the military by proposing to change the military chain of command in sexual assault cases. West also criticized liberals for wanting to “put women into combat arms units ... so that they can meet some socially engineering goal or egalitarian goal.” [Media Matters, 6/6/13]

West: Feminists Are “Neutering American Men.” West has criticized liberal women for “neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness” and said “we are not going to have our men become subservient.” He was also denounced for comments about Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) in which he wrote to her, “You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!” [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

West Has A Conspiratorial And Inconsistent Take On Current Events

West Called For Obama's Impeachment -- Then Took It Back. West has fundraised off of the prospect of the impeachment of President Obama, which he supported and claimed was “gaining speed!” When Democrats began to push back against impeachment talk, West flip-flopped and told followers that impeachment is “not happening” because  “evil” Democrats had “successfully made the word 'impeachment' verboten in America,” adding, “In fact, they've managed to turn it into political heyday as they celebrate fundraising records based on generating fear among their base over something that's not happening.” [Media Matters, 7/30/14]

West: “Fishy” Focus On Kidnapped Nigerian Girls Is Meant To Distract From Benghazi. West wrote a post headlined, “Focus on Boko Haram right now seems fishy to me,” which accused the Obama administration of disingenuously caring about the kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls by the Boko Haram terrorist organization, claiming the administration was attempting to distract the public from “all the scandals facing the Obama administration, especially Benghazi and the Select Committee.” [Media Matters, 5/12/14]

West: Obama “Purposefully Creating Drama” Like Malaysia Airlines MH17 Crash. West wrote on his website:

Sadly, hundreds of Ukrainians and 298 souls on MH17 have paid the price for the weakness and abject cowardice of Obama's “flexibility.”

And here in America we quibble over a lawsuit against this charlatan.

The blood on Vladimir Putin's hands was poured by Barack Obama who is indirectly responsible, accountable and no different than Neville Chamberlain's weakness in the face of the 20th Century maniacal dictator Adolf Hitler.

So much for no drama Obama. He is purposefully creating drama globally. [AllenBWest.com, 7/18/14, via Media Matters]

West Dismissed Capture Of Benghazi Terrorist Suspect After Previously Calling For His Capture. In June, West dismissed the capture of Benghazi terrorist suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala as a “smoke and mirrors” ploy and questioned whether Abu Khattala was really the “mastermind” behind the attacks or “the Obama administration's fall guy.” But in January, West co-signed a letter calling for Khattala's capture because he was the “ringleader of the attack.” [Media Matters, 6/18/14]

West Has History Of Other Toxic Behavior

West Assaulted An Iraqi Detainee. In 2003 West admitted that threatened to kill an Iraqi detainee in his custody; watched four of his soldiers from the 220th Field Artillery Battalion “beat the detainee on the head and body”; and, according to military prosecutors, he “followed up on that threat” to kill the detainee by shooting near his head. He was eventually “stripped of his command after pleading guilty to assaulting an Iraqi detainee during interrogation.” [Media Matters, 2/8/10; CNN.com, 12/13/03The Boston Globe, 12/14/03]

West Has A History Of Islamophobia. West claimed that “Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD, and we need to have individuals stand up and say that.” [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

West's Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric. West has warned that illegal immigration is like an “invasion into your country.” He's also accused Democratic officials of being “almost treasonous” by inviting undocumented immigrants to attend a hearing on the DREAM Act. [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

West Left Conservative Website After He Reportedly “Had An Anti-Semitic Exchange With A Staffer, Calling Her A 'Jewish American princess.'” West left the conservative website Pajamas Media after, according to BuzzFeed, West had “an altercation with a female staffer in which he allegedly called her a 'Jewish American princess' ... Asked specifically whether he referred to the employee as a 'Jewish American princess,' West said simply, 'There was an exchange, that's all.'” [BuzzFeed, 9/26/13]

West Claimed Government Safety Net Programs Create “Economic Dependency Plantation” In Inner Cities. [Fox News, On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, 2/4/14, via Media Matters