By Shane D’Aprile, The Hill
Freshman Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) gave a speech to close this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference that earned a more enthusiastic reaction from conservative activists than those given by most rumored 2012 presidential hopefuls over the past three days.
The first-term congressman brought the audience to its feet several times late Saturday, repudiating President Obama’s social and economic policies and promising “a new dawn in America.”
West took the coveted speaking slot that was rejected by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who declined to attend CPAC for the fourth straight year.
West, who represents a district that voted for President Obama in 2008 and Sen. John Kerry in 2004, will be a top Democratic target next year and opened his speech by noting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already run a radio ad in his district.
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