Florida Rep labels congressional Democrats as Communists
April 11th, 2012
10:31 PM ET
11 years ago

Florida Rep labels congressional Democrats as Communists

(CNN) – Florida Rep. Allen West's controversial comments have once again landed him in the headlines – this time with the sort of accusation not seen in Congress since the 1950s.

At a town hall meeting with constituents in Jensen Beach, West was asked how many members of Congress are "card-carrying Marxists."

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According to CNN affiliate WPEC, West responded, "I believe there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party."

West's campaign manager, Tim Edison, pointed reporters to West's next comments, when he says the members in question belong to the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

"This group advocates for state control over industries, redistribution of wealth, reduced individual economic freedom and the destruction of free markets," Edison added in a statement. "These members of Congress advocate the type of policies that have put Europe on the brink of economic and fiscal collapse, and are driving the United States in the same direction. It is interesting that amid the swirl of feigned outrage and media misreporting of the Congressman’s remarks, all the attention is focused on the semantics, but no one is disputing the Progressive Caucus’s support for policies central to socialist and even Marxist systems."

The Congressional Progressive Caucus responded to West's comments with a statement calling the comment and others like it "personal attacks."

"Calling fellow Members of Congress 'communists' is reminiscent of the days when Joe McCarthy divided Americans with name-calling and modern-day witch hunts that don't advance policies to benefit people's lives," the statement, by caucus co chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva and Keith Ellison, read.

A spokesman for the Communist Party USA said Wednesday that the remarks are "not the epithet it once was."

"We think it's ridiculous statement and totally untrue. It's clear he's trying to give the impression that there are people with a secret agenda in the Congress," party vice chair Libero Della Piana said.

"We don't take offense at it. Really it wasn't a statement about us at all," he added, but rather a myth about Democrats.

Last summer, West wrote an email to Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz describing her as "the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the US House of Representatives." Last February, he described a fellow member of Congress who is Muslim as "someone that really does represent the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established."

West was suggested as a possible GOP vice presidential nominee last week by the party's most recent nominee, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The first term congressman said on CNN's "Newsroom" that he is open to the possibility.

"(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," he said.

But, he has said, Romney has yet to call.

Also see:

Romney on Santorum: 'This has been a good day for me'

Louisiana governor endorses Romney

Crossroads GPS to drop $1.7 million against Obama

Filed under: Allen West • Florida
soundoff (907 Responses)
  1. Malory Archer

    bc runner

    Not sure about congress, but for sure there is a Republican governor up in Michigan who can definitely be called a dictator. They have declared these emergency laws that allows them to take over counties, fire people, close agencies, schools, etc. Without any regard to locasl elected officials.

    Michigan is only supposed to be doing the above if it passes with a 2/3 majority. Problem is they aren't even counting the votes; just asking members to raise their hands if they agree and then making up a number that represents 2/3 or more.

    April 12, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. Smeagel4T

    In the last 30 years the GOP has done everything they can to completely destroy the American family by driving American families further and further into poverty. It is the hard working fathers and mothers who just want to put food on the table and be able to send their kids to college who create all the wealth in our country, but the GOP is doing everything it can to make sure that the wealth these hard working Americans create gets distributed to only the elite few.

    America is fed up with the GOP calling anyone who actually cares about people "communist" and "socialist". Has the GOP considered actually caring about the hard working Americans who REALLY create the wealth in our country?

    April 12, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. Dr Knowitall

    By the way, a little education for all you Facist screaming liberals. FASCISM is simply Socialism gone astray. True Republicans and even far right wingers do not even come close to the definition of a fascist. Scream it all you like, but you simply only embarass yourself.

    April 12, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. lance corporal

    how can you possibly defend this???????
    it is a LIE meant to inflame, it is an OBVIOUS lie, it is utter nonsense and worse than that it is done with the intention of doing harm and it DOES harm to the entire nation....... and for what? short term personal political gain.
    so this man USES the prejudice, bad temperment and....stooooopidity of a segment of our population for his personal enrichment and because of the TEAM mentality of some of you your backing him up
    SHAME!!! shame on you
    this kind of bull will go away as soon as YOU that are going along with it STOP and say enough
    if you divide us you hurt the USA
    WHY would you do that??????????????

    April 12, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  5. HenryMiller

    "It's clear he's trying to give the impression that there are people with a secret agenda in the Congress,""

    Well, no, they're not making any particular secret of the fact they favour government dominance over both the national public economy as well as over the economic freedom of individuals, both central tenets of Marxism.

    April 12, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. Bob

    This guy would be surprised who's in congress, if he only knew.

    April 12, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. BShaw

    Wow, some lessons from history are never learned.

    April 12, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. timothy

    In a desperate attempt to remain relevant, the Tea Party is doubling down on their kookiness bet...

    April 12, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Yeah, I can see why Sarah is touting this mook as Veep material. If there is anyone with less of a clue than her it is him.

    April 12, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. I stand corrected

    The Progressive Caucus is more in line with fascism, not communism. BO is more in line with Communism than most of the progressives.

    April 12, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. Robert

    Next he'll be calling the Democrats "divisive".

    April 12, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  12. mommytwice

    This is all Republicans have now...spreading fear and hate. Their message is so off point that they must resort to this.

    April 12, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    Emmy Skaddittle

    Can someone please tell the republicans the cold war is over and Reagan is dead?

    Oh, Emmy. There you go, dragging in those pesky facts and truth GOPers try so hard to hide from themselves.

    April 12, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  14. SF

    Thank god for Florida huh? that state spawns the nuttiest of the nuttiest! if they conceded i'd be happy...right along with texas and the rest of the redneck states.

    April 12, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. brian in denver

    Another GOP wingnut comes out of the woodwork... This campaign cycle has been more fun than a fart in a wetsuit!

    April 12, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. Maggie

    West is merely a petulant child defining himself in the image of joe McCarthy.

    April 12, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  17. Idol Girl

    Someone please remind the Republicans that this is 2012, not the 1950s.

    April 12, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    For a party that is afraid of cartoon characters, it is hard to take them seriously.

    April 12, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. Mike

    sorry but this guys is a total embarassment, he needs to go, but to stay in the House he is changing districts as in Fl you don't have to live in the district until you take office so he is going for what is consider a safe republican seat.

    April 12, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. Rudy NYC

    I always marvel at how skilled conervatives and Republicans are at projecting their own flaws onto their political adversaries. I think calling liberals and Democrats is gross hypocrisy.

    Google this. " imperial capitalism " Read about Lenin and his writings. It sounds exactly what you hear coming out of the mouths of today's far right wing.

    April 12, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  21. realitybites

    “It is a well known fact that reality has liberal bias.”
    ― Stephen Colbert

    April 12, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. wolfpackbob

    "This group advocates for state control over industries, redistribution of wealth, reduced individual economic freedom and the destruction of free markets," .... There is nothing secret about their agenda but these folks just don't like to be called out. And they are no worse than members of both parties who are in the pockets of lobbyists. But to pretend they are insulted and shocked,...... come on.

    April 12, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. Annie, Atlanta

    Be afraid – be very afraid. It's silly season again and the GOP is out in full force with fear tactics, scary words, and what have you to keep their people in line. Commies are going to get you – oh no look behind you – look under the bed – check the closets. That's so 50s. Good grief, can't they even come up with something new and original? And why are we so accepting of demonizing the opposition these days? Aren't we all Americans, and don't we all want the same things? God I'm sick of this, and we have months to go before election day, and then we get to start all over.

    My suggestion: The House of Representatives – 4 years (not 2 and the perpetual campaigning). The Senate – 4 years, not 6. If they suck, we're not stuck with them as long. All of them – 4 years. And just like the presidency, 2 terms only. That's just my 2 cents worth. I'm sick of career politicians. Oh, and get the money out of campaigns – public financing for all. And just like in England – 6 weeks for campaigning. Ok, that's an additional 2 cents worth.

    April 12, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Ugly Americans!

    I am just flat ashamed that we have this kind of trash floating around government. It is getting increasingly clear that the challenge of democracy is to avoid sinking to the least common denominator.

    April 12, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. WHArts

    The TEA (Tax exempt Affluence) Party is just a "Born Again" John Birch Society.

    April 12, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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