Rep. Allen West (R-FL) has made headlines for criticizing Democratic leaders including President Barack Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“This is a battlefield that we must stand upon. And we need to let President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and my dear friend, chairman of the Democrat National Committee, we need to let them know that Florida ain’t on the table,” West said last Saturday at a Lincoln Day Dinner in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Rep. West went on to say that Democratic leaders should take their message of “economic dependency” and “get the hell out of the United States of America.”
Apparently, his comments proved too much for The Five’s co-host Bob Beckel.
“I’m going to try to be as calm here as I possibly can here in deference to my friends here at this table,” Beckel said.
“In my 30 years of politics, I have never heard anything more disgraceful in my life. I think that Allen West owes an apology to a lot of people. He’s lucky to have that seat in the first place. I’ll tell you this, Mr. West; When you start shooting your mouth off like that – and I admire the fact that you were in the military and you served your country. I understand that,” Beckel said.
“But before you start saying that, at the end of it, you said ‘Get the hell out of the United States,’ then you didn’t say the policies. Now, there’s 20 percent of us or 22 percent of us that happen to be Progressives, who believe in what Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi say. You go on to say 100 percent of America. We’re 20 percent of America and we’re not going anywhere whether you like it or not,” Beckel added.
“And you better be careful, my friend, because you’re getting on the edge there and you’re taking that Tea Party crowd with you,” Beckel added, wagging his finger at an imaginary Rep. West (isn’t that supposed to be the “ultimate insult”?).
Watch The Five’s heated exchange over Rep. West’s “get the hell out” remarks:
Co-host Greg Gutfeld argued that Beckel’s righteous indignation was misplaced.
“During the break, I made a list of outspoken black liberals,” Greg Gutfeld said, “Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, Black Panthers. . .Jesse Jackson, Angela Davis, Cornel West, Public Enemy, Eric Dyson!”
“In our culture,” Gutfeld continued, “We celebrate outspoken black leftists. So, now you have one, provocative, American, black conservative, and you liberals whine? I wanna’ see more Allen West. He’s not the first one, but he’s the beginning. And it’s refreshing--”
“You wanna’ see more of that hatred? You wanna’ see that kind of hatred in America?” Beckel interrupted.
“That’s not hatred,” Gutfeld shot back.
“It’s is hatred,” Beckel interrupted again, “It’s the worst most disgraceful, despicable, disgusting—“
“I just listed for you a dozen, black liberals who spoke in very extreme language in the last 20, 30 years,” Gutfeld said, putting an abrupt end to Beckel’s brief experiment with alliteration.
Later in the segment, as Beckel was trying to explain that Rep. West represents an extreme element in the Republican party, it was co-host Eric Bolling’s turn to interrupt.
“Let me just point something out,” Bolling said, “You’re calling him ‘Allen West.’ Either call him Representative West—“
“I’m not going to call him Representative anything!” Beckel responded indignantly, demonstrating that it’s perfectly acceptable for a TV personality to disregard "civility" when criticizing an elected official and war veteran, but that it is wholly unacceptable -- indeed, “disgusting” and “despicable” -- if that elected official and war veteran is not "civil" enough when criticizing Democratic leadership.
“--or call him Lieutenant Colonel West,” Bolling added.
“I’m not going to call him that either,” Beckel said, almost surprised that Bolling would suggest such a thing.
Despite repeated attempts to convince Beckel that Rep. West was not indeed a “hater,” as Beckel so eloquently put it, their efforts went unrewarded and the segment ended on this note:
And for those that missed Rep. West’s original remarks: