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. Robert

    He wont name names ?
    wouldn't it be his congressional duty to report a threat like that. SPIN, SPIN, SPIN I am dizzy from all the spinning.

    This sounds a lot like the swift boat vets. make an accusation and hope some of the party idiots believe it, by the time you prove them liars its too late. He wont name names because he would be sued for slander

    April 12, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. judy

    oh great! a boring mormon president and a Vp who sees commies under his bed Hey who can't get behind this combo????

    April 12, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  3. Bob Ramos

    To West – Actually name the 73 to 81 members of Congress who are members of the communist party. You cannot, can you??

    I hope and pray that Romney actually, per Palin's urgings, announce that West is his choice of VP nominee. Were that to happen, Obama would take one long vacation to Hawaii and stay there until his sides stop hurting from laughing. The RNC would drown themselves in bathtubs and Ann Romney's hair would turn snow white. Rush would actually move to South America.

    April 12, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. TEDDY

    Ok then why is it that all these politicians allow the outsourcing of American jobs to countries like China that are communist? So if the Democrats are commies, then the Republicans must be facist's This guy is clueless.
    Again another politician in Washington showing how clueless they are.

    April 12, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. HenryB

    Wow, this is amazing! NOT. Typical West and Republican crew! Only said to make sure that he remains good with his base.

    April 12, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. gg

    maybe he should talk to his freinds at,walmart,wallstreet,oil companys,tell them about the evils of communisim

    April 12, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. roscoe

    West is making a push to be the VP nominee. This may put him over the top.

    April 12, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. judy

    Hey nuts come in all shapes sizes and colors. The guy is like all repos trying to use scare tatics. Thats what they do best. No proof just say crazy things and scare people. Enough crazies out there to believe them. Obama 2012 Lets move forward with facts not lies.

    April 12, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. Steve

    I just checked the Constitution. There is nothing in there stating that you can't be a Communist. Let's see. What are the important concepts for a communist? All people are equal. The government is the tool of the working class, not the other way around. Those who cannot take care of themselves are taken care of by the government (the people). Hmmmm..... sounds really dangerous to me. The "Communist" hunts and fear are something that was drummed up by our government when we were in the cold war. To just get fearful because you hear the word means that you are easily influenced by propoganda. The conservatives have been using this word to tag Democrats. It's utter nonsense. Do a little reading (if you can actually read) and you'll find that there's really nothing to worry about. And oh, yeah. It's perfectly legal for the Communist Party to exist in the US and to field candidates for various elections. I'm not a communist, but I don't fear them, because I'm not a sheep, either.

    April 12, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    realitybites wrote on page 15

    “It is a well known fact that reality has liberal bias.”
    ― Stephen Colbert
    "...and fantasy has a conservative distortion." You forgot the corollary.

    April 12, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. Anonymous

    Well, looks like Stepin fetchit's alive and well and representing Florida in congress!

    April 12, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. jack

    Communists!!!!! hahahahahaha looooooooooooooooool rofl lol hahahahahahaha lolololol Communists!!!! lol omg wow lolol hahahahahaha, no.

    April 12, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. DAK

    West makes me ashamed to admit I to am a veteran but it is plain to see why he got out of the military with an attitude like this.

    April 12, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. Wake Up America

    Although I am sure that the rest of the comments in this post say it all I really have to add my voice. The reason Mitt Romney will not get elected president is not because he is worse than President Obama but because he is part of the Republican Party. Presidents are elected by independent voters like me and we pay attention to nonsense like this and what reaction Romney has to this statement. I will make a bet he has no reaction at all (Just like his non reaction to Rush Limbaugh's evil comments). I was really looking for a positive republican candidate to challenge Obama but this is guilt by association and by deed. Pay attention, Mitt. As far as independents go, if you don't condemn nonsense like what West and Rush are spouting you support it. Therefore, we can't support you.

    April 12, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. cobra

    The odds are that West is correct.

    April 12, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  16. Al

    Well the basic principle of Communism is to take from people and dispense it. Hey sounds like what is in the White House now so I would have to agree that there traders in the ranks and those traders should be done away with.

    April 12, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Mark Kiss

    Just calling them "Communists" isn't enough, Congressman West. Demand they produce their birth certificates as well!

    April 12, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. curiousdwk

    Let me get this straight: Palin suggested West would make a good VP candidate? Yeah. Good for a bunch of laughs now that we can't laugh at Palin and can't laugh at Santorum. Let's bring in West and then we'll have our daily belly-laughs again.

    April 12, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. mindless

    And most of the Tea Party caucus are Nazis from outer space. Juvenile name calling is the calling card of the mindless.

    April 12, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. Mark Kiss

    May I suggest this question of them:"Are you now, or have you ever been, born outside the United States?"

    April 12, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. SteveinWH

    I am in the process of donating money to his opponent in the 2012 congressional election.

    April 12, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. Carol

    And Sarah Palin thinke he would be a good VP! HA HA

    April 12, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. v_mag

    On a day when a Repugnant politician tells a blatant and obvious lie, as much attention is being paid to a Democrat who simply states the truth that Ms. Rom-money never had to work a straight job and thus knows nothing from personal experience about the hardships facing most American women. Even a lot of Dems are down on Ms. Rosen for stating the truth, but where are the Repugnants on this appalling Allen West lie?

    April 12, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. Kurt

    They are not Communists. Socialists would have been more correct: A theory or system of social reform which contemplates a complete reconstruction of society, with a more just and equitable distribution of property and labor. All communists are socialists, but not all socialists are communists.

    April 12, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  25. Ron J4ffers

    The biggest problem we have with politics in this country is politicians! Repubs, dems, as my old man used to say "same whore, different dress!". No one is looking out for America anymore, just themselves.Until we can push thru term limits, it's gonna remain the same old bloated fat greedy faces we have looked at for years. There is no ideas, in most cases not even thoughts on improving America. The idea in pols of doing their job is to get everything they can and call each other names. We desperately need more than kindergarten social skills from our "leaders".

    April 12, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
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