Florida's first black Republican congressman since Reconstruction credited the Tea Party with standing up against allegations of racism from the left in supporting his successful candidacy.
“So I think that the — the liberal progressives saw the strength of the grassroots movement that we call the Tea Party, which stands for 'taxed enough already' and they tried to turn against it,” Rep.-elect Allen West (R-Fla.) said Friday on Fox News's "Hannity."
“And the No.1 thing that you always try to do to silence an
opponent in the United States of America is to call someone a racist.”
West said that attempts to tarnish the Tea Party did not foil his campaign. “And we see that that did not work whatsoever,” he said.
“Well, I think the most important thing with our race is that we ran on honor, integrity and character,” said West.
Another historic election took place in South Carolina, where Rep.-Elect Tim Scott also became the first black Republican congressman from his state since Reconstruction.
Scott said he grew up in a single-parent household, where he experienced “tough love,” and that the country needs to experience a similar idea.
“And I think it's part of what we need in America today is we need to have an opportunity to experience tough love,” he said. “And that really means to limit the role of the government.”
The two new members will join a Republican majority in the House. West has announced that he will join the Congressional Black Caucus, saying he plans to join the Democratic-dominated bloc to challenge the CBC's "monolithic voice."