Allen calls attacks from potential GOP opponents “laughable”
George Allen isn’t officially a candidate yet. However the man who has served at just about every level of Virginia politics is already being attacked like a front-runner. The problem is, that those attacks aren’t coming from Democrats, they are coming from his own party.
Allen was a rising conservative star in 2006 when he was upset by current Senator Jim Webb. Allen was floated as a candidate for President and was on top of the world, before Webb took advantage of a series of campaign gaffes and increasing angst of Republicans and George W. Bush to knock him from his perch.
Since his surprising loss, Allen has been rebuilding his political image. He has been courting grass-roots Republicans, raising money and speaking about political issues. You would think that a man who proudly proclaimed his conservatism, even in environments where it wasn’t popular, would be the perfect fit for a resurgent GOP.
Unfortunately for Allen, many of those people who were his biggest supporters 4 years ago, would now like a crack at the GOP nomination in 2012 themselves. Among them Corey Stewart, the Chair of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. Stewart is not very known outside his constituency and the activists upset about illegal immigration.
Stewart has championed controversial laws in Prince William to reign in illegal aliens to the praise of Tea Party supporters. Stewart’s influence has risen enough where he feels bullish enough to consider a challenge to Allen in 2012 for the GOP nomination. He already has a political action committee and has already started attacking Allen, calling him a “mediocre” Senator.
Stewart isn’t alone. Conservative Delegate Bob Marshall feels Allen is vulnerable enough that he is considering a challenge and Richmond Tea Party leader Jamie Radtke is also mulling getting into the race. Radtke even stepped down from her influential position as the Chair of the Virginia Tea Party Patriot group.
There are several other potential candidates as well.
All of these threats to his return to the top of the political mountain could not shake the smile of George Allen’s face. Tuesday night, before speaking to a group of about 40 people in Richmond’s Southside, Allen told me that the idea that he isn’t conservative enough is “laughable”.
Allen pointed out how he is often sought out as a fundraiser for some of the very same people who attack him. However, he refused to counter their criticism with attacks of his own.
“I know all these other folks and I’m not going to speak ill of them,” Allen told me. ” I don’t understand why they are lashing out but that’s the way they are. I think what most people want to see for our country are leaders who have ideas that motivate and inspire people.”
Obviously Allen feels he is still the man to offer that inspiration.
An extend the clip from Allen’s comments on GOP attacks can be found below: