UPDATED: West CLARIFIES – Allen West: Herman Cain needs to get out of the race

***UPDATE: AUDIO ADDED***

The Hill reports:

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) said Wednesday he would advise Herman Cain to let voters “move on” from the distraction of his campaign.

Cain told his campaign this week it is time to “reassess” in light of the resurfacing of old sexual harassment allegations and new accusations this week that he carried on a 13-year affair.

“Beyond reassessing his campaign, he probably needs to understand that he is a distracter for what’s going on right now and we should move on,” West told WMAL’s radio show “Morning Majority.”

West, a Tea Party favorite, indicated Cain is already out of the running and the GOP nomination field has come down to “a two-man race.”

He named Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, currently the front-runners in the polls, as the two most likely contenders. West said Romney, who has polled at around 24 percent nationally for months, has “hit a plateau” and called Gingrich, who came up from well behind to become a front-runner within the last few weeks, “very viable” as a candidate.

“Speaker Gingrich is the next in line for conservatives who are looking for someone who is not Mitt Romney,” he said. “But he does have that 200-pound rucksack on his back with a lot of the personal baggage that people are going to come at him about.”

Gingrich reportedly mentioned West, along with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), earlier this week as possible vice presidential candidates on his hypothetical ticket.

West said he would have to pray about and discuss the opportunity with his family, but he promised: “If I can make a difference, then I’ll answer that call.”

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UPDATE: Here is the audio of the interview from WMAL. The part about 2012 and Herman Cain starts just before the 6 minute mark:

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UPDATE: West clarified on his Facebook that he is NOT asking Cain to step down:

“The media is trying to put me against Herman Cain. I guess its good for them to see two black men against each other. The facts are I am not telling Cain to step down. That is his decision and his only. What I said is the media focus on these incidents and “alleged affairs” are a distraction, and we as a country need to move on from this subject and get the focus on what the GOP contenders can seriously do for this country.”

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