The current crop of Republican presidential candidates is "lukewarm" and unexciting, said Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a Tea Party darling.
West, a freshman Republican lawmaker from Florida, badmouthed the 2012 field of GOP hopefuls while noting that he himself would not be seeking the presidency.
"I've got to tell you that no one is really exciting anyone out there right now," West told the conservative website Newsmax in an interview posted late Thursday. "I think by September, October, maybe we'll see a front-runner. But right now, you know, kind of lukewarm."
West said he "couldn't say right now" if he had any favorites, and that his only focus was on seeking reelection to his House seat next fall.
West's words might sound disappointing to someone like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), a potential presidential candidate who helped propel West to his congressional nomination with a key endorsement just before the primary.
The political action committees of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) each eventually endorsed and donated to West, too, but not until later in the process, and much closer to Election Day.
West appeared at an event in Florida earlier this year with Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift MORE, who withdrew from seeking the GOP nomination last week. West credited Trump with setting a faster pace for the other Republican candidates.
"I think that he tried to get people to come out of their comfort zones, but you still have a pretty 'blah' atmosphere out there," West said.