West aims to raise money off 'communist' comments
April 13th, 2012
12:17 PM ET
2 years ago

West aims to raise money off 'communist' comments

(CNN) – Standing by his controversial remarks this week targeting certain members of Congress as communists, Republican Rep. Allen West of Florida called on supporters Friday to donate toward his fight against "extreme left-wing positions."

West faced criticism after he described the Congressional Progressive Caucus as a group filled with members of the Communist Party on Tuesday.

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His remarks quickly set off a firestorm, as the caucus and the Communist Party both hit back calling the statements "ridiculous" and reminiscent of McCarthyism.

Arguing the media has gone "completely nuts" over his statements, West urged supporters to help him fight back.

"In response to a question about Marxists in Congress, I called out the Congressional Progressive Caucus for their extreme left-wing positions," the email stated. "I stand by the point of my comments and I need you to stand with me today by making a contribution of $10 or more."

In his plea, West added: "We're in the fight for the heart and soul of our nation."

He reiterated his position about the Progressive Caucus, saying it "advocates for state control over industries, redistribution of wealth, reduced individual economic freedom, and the destruction of free markets."

Established in 1991, the group is the largest House caucus within the House Democratic Caucus and is chaired by Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona and Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota. It bills itself as an advocate for a "strong, progressive agenda" with a "fundamental belief in government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

West's original remarks came amid calls for him to be selected as the GOP vice presidential nominee by a number of high-profile Republicans, including Sarah Palin, Herman Cain and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

"(My family) has always stepped up to the plate to serve our country, and if it's the right thing, then I will do so. But I really doubt that would ever happen," West said last week on CNN.

Romney, however, has said he has not created any list for possible running mates.

– CNN's Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

Also see:

Obama ahead in New Jersey, even with Christie on ticket

Florida Rep labels congressional Democrats as Communists

Barbour won't formally endorse Romney, but offers advice


Filed under: 2012 • Allen West • Congress
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. jk

    The sad part is the crazy stuff this wing nuts spew – the more their rabid right wing base rewards them. This is so back to the 50's it's scary to me.

    April 13, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Linda

    This man will do to Romney what Palin did to McCain......we will work to get rid of the extreme left wing as soon as we get rid of the extreme right wing.......

    April 13, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    Isn't there some deserted island somewhere to where all these trapublikan taliban fools can move to. Take your mean queen fro m AK and the weeper od the house too

    April 13, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Leann

    yep, he will raise money ... for the democrats given by all those who can recall the horror of the McCarthy era.

    April 13, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. some guy in New Hampshire

    Does West even know that communists believe in the "withering away of the State"? In other words, the abolition of the need for government? Does he believe that the progressives in Congress are calling for the end of government? Or could it be that West uses words without knowing what they really mean? Could West really be so ignorant and irresponsible? Gee, I wonder...

    April 13, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Stan

    So are they Communists or Marxists?

    April 13, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. Lee R

    This guy is a lunatic and class-less! I can't imagine how anyone can waste a vote on someone who portrays views that are way out there and showing absolutely no dignity for public office. He is nothing but a name caller and should be thrown out of office. When you have to resort to this kind of shenanagan to raise money for a campaign it only shows desperation. Shame on West!!!

    April 13, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. Andy Smith

    Where's the apology for this? Where's the GOP and their disapproval of what this "major part" of the GOP establishment said? Rosen has apologized (as she should have) and she isn't as influential as this congressman, but there's no talk about this guy apologizing.

    April 13, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. darko2k

    Well, you can't be a part of the DSA for years and claim not to be socialist now can you?

    April 13, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. Marie MD

    I think I knos what this west Florida clown is up to. While the media and everyone else are wasting their time folioing his silkiness the flip flopper is probablynhaving secret meetings with the real candidates. Other losers such as fat boynfrom NJ, the confederate governormof Virginia who also wants women to do as he says, there are others but none are worthy either.

    April 13, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. Steve, New York City

    This guy really is kind of a nut.

    What the heck is the deal with Florida anyway: Stand your ground, Elian Gonzalez, suspending a baseball manager b/c of an off-hand political comment, Casey Anthony – a casual observer might think that Florida is a haven for people with low I.Qs.?

    I am surprised that the NRA, the Koch brothers and Fox news have not posted bail for Zimmerman. Were it up to the NRA, it would be legal for 6 year olds to have concealed firearms.

    April 13, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. bear

    Does he have an opponent that I can send a contribution to?

    April 13, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. callmecrazy

    How do these crazy people get elected?

    April 13, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. Howard

    West was right ... this is just another liberal smear job on anyone who opposes Obama.

    April 13, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Niko_in_Richmond

    Well, since he cannot fundraise based on his achievements in Congress, he has to do it based on something. Why not his delusional claim that members of the opposing party are communists. The sad part is that, in 2012, we have members of Congress going around making such unfounded claims and that there are people out there who believe it. No wonder nothing seems to get done when the CHILDREN there cannot seem to get anything done without resorting to name calling. It really is pathetic.

    April 13, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. SUBS 4 VOTES

    Hillary Rosen gets slammed for telling the truth about Ann Romney, but this clown gets a pass to call democrats communists. The republican party has become a fascist party and has been one for the past decade if not more.

    April 13, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. Thinker

    They get elected because people don't take the time to find out about the candidates. Watching Fox news and reading campaign fliers is not ging to give you information on a candidate.
    This guy is a real nut, and his campaign must be going badly. I guess he's ok for people who like rolling around in the gutter.

    April 13, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. ST

    He offended people and now he wants to cash in because of his bad behaviour? What has the world become to???

    April 13, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. Maggie

    Seriously !!! What in the world is happening with the GOP party? Did I just not notice this in years past or was it hidden better in years past? It's really is frightening.

    April 13, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Richard T.

    He did not say the Democratic Progressive Caucus. He said: "Card carrying" communists, Marxist etc. Can the GOP ever not cover their lies with yet another lie?

    April 13, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. ART

    This man is an idiot, he is exactly whats wrong with the rethuglican party

    April 13, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. Mikey

    This is a guy who thinks that people with differing political views than he has should in his words "get the hell out of the United States of America." He is just another TPPOS.

    April 13, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  23. Bill

    This guy is clearly unbalanced.

    April 13, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. coy4one

    This guy needs to look at his own party...if anything the GOP is moving toward a communist approch to running things. Power and wealth have always run the communist countries and the GOP is definitly going in that direction. You know what they say, "If you look in the mirror, you might find a reflection of what you think." Or, "when you point at someone, you are actually pointing three fingers at yourself!"

    April 13, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  25. Steve

    What a shocking lie from a man kicked out of the military for torture!

    April 13, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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