(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."
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.