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Congressman Klein and West call each other 'radical'

"Radical" is turning out to be the dirty word in a bitter race between Democratic Congressman Ron Klein and his colorful rival, Republican Allen West, who tried to label each other as radicals this week.

West's campaign manager Josh Grodin fired back a response today to a campaign fundraising email sent by Klein.

"Our opponent's outrageous attempt at fundraising by attacking Lieutenant Colonel West is further proof that he is in full-blown panic mode," Grodin wrote.  "I’d suggest he stick to his traditional source of financial support – trial lawyers (at least $22,000), unions ($10,000 from SEIU, $30,000 from the Teamsters), Fannie & Freddie ($11,000), and even BP ($1,500).  

He can name call and whine, but he can't run away from his ultra-liberal – some would even say radical  – voting record, in which he has voted with his boss, Nancy Pelosi, 98% of the time. Ron Klein has clearly decided to take his campaign negative rather than face his constituents' frustration over his failure in stemming an unemployment rate of over 12% in South Florida, the third highest foreclosure rate in the nation, and a potential environmental disaster completely mishandled by the Federal Government. He is out of touch with the average Floridian and average American.”

West is making waves nationally as a blunt-talking black GOPer who has raised $2.06 million in a white-majority coastal Broward/Palm Beach district. That's more than the approximately $1.86 million Klein has raised this election cycle though the incumbent has more cash on hand -- $2.6 million than West who has $1.1 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Klein hasn't said much about his opponent so far. Some political observers expect that Klein is saving his ammunition for September and October, but he sent a strongly worded email to potential supporters Thursday criticizing West. In the email, he calls West "Palin-esque" -- a reference to Sarah Palin that West might embrace since she endorsed him.

"Make no mistake: my opponent isn't simply attempting to bring his radical and dangerous views to Congress - he's attempting to make himself a national figure and leader of the Republican party.

With the recent announcement that 2012 GOP Convention will be in Florida, the Washington Post suggested that Allen West could be a potential keynote speaker. The National Republican Congressional Committee is already supporting West, a self-declared "right-wing extremist."

This the same person who has said, "I hate big-tent. I hate inclusiveness. And I hate outreach." He has literally encouraged physical intimidation as a political tactic - saying this to supporters about me: "You've got to make the fellow scared to come out of his house."

Help us make sure that the only seat Allen West gets at the convention is in the audience."