By Judy Kurtz - 04/03/12 11:28 PM EDT
Rep. Allen West is seen posing with a big-time celebrity in a photo posted Sunday on the Florida Republican’s campaign Facebook page. The only unusual thing about West’s endorsement from the star of TV and film? The A-lister in question, John Wayne, died more than 30 years ago.
The congressman is flashing a broad smile as he stands next to the frozen-looking, cowboy-hat-wearing image of The Duke. West wrote in a caption under the snapshot, which went up on April Fools’ Day, “We will be the No. 1 target for Washington liberals because of our vocal opposition to their failed big-government economic policies. We’re ready for the fight, especially with a guy like this watching our back.”
Most fans of West didn’t seem bothered by his newfound chumminess with the deceased gun-slinging star. One supporter wrote, “You know a congressman is awesome when … he proudly stands beside a picture of The Duke and agrees with the principles that Wayne stood for.”
But some critics questioned the move, as one wrote to West (who served in the Army for more than 20 years), “Classic quack! You need to pull back from the deep end of the pool. Duke’s been dead longer than you were on active duty.”
West’s press secretary didn’t return a call for comment about the photo with Wayne.