Capitol & State

Ex-congressman and Fox contributor using anti-Bergdahl fervor to raise PAC money

Former GOP Rep. Allan West says Idaho's Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is a "deserter" and that President Obama "is more dangerous than the enemies we're fighting."

In an email solicitation for his PAC on Wednesday, West begins, "America now negotiates with terrorists."

He adds, "Obama just gifted them 5 senior terrorist commanders to secure the release of a deserter. How many of our troops lost their lives and sacrificed to capture those five Taliban leaders? All for naught."

West's fundraising appeal was published by Media Matters for America, a left-wing critic of Fox News and conservatives generally. After his single term in Congress, West became a Fox News contributor.

The pitch appeal is for the Allen West Guardian Fund, a political action committee that supports "conservative military veteran and minority Republicans running for state and federal office, in the same vein as Allen West."

West was the first African-American Republican elected in Florida since post-Civil War Reconstruction. He unseated Democratic Rep. Ron Klein in 2010. As a member of the House Tea Party Caucus, he narrowly lost in 2012 to Democrat Patrick Murphy. West says his PAC helped elect seven veteran candidates to the U.S. House in 2012.

West spent 22 years in the Army, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel.

"In the last two weeks alone, I've awarded endorsements to a decorated Marine Corps Colonel who has spent 23 years serving as an Infantry Officer and a decorated veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who is a US Congressman," West writes. "With leaders like these, I'm confident we can count on strong conservative leadership in Washington."