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. snowdogg

    Joe McCarthy got a real good tan.

    April 12, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. Orwell shrugs

    Between communist accusations from Florida and the Tennessee anti-science law passed this week, the wingnuts are solidly in control of the Republican Party of God. They are now ready to further lead the country to GREATER fear, ignorance and ruin.

    Richard Nixon and Joe McCarthy's legacy has mutated beyond anything they could imagine, and they salute the GOP, God's Only Party.

    April 12, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. looney tunes

    This is the same idiot who was complaining about gas prices while he drives a Hummer. Move on, nothing to see here.

    April 12, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  4. Vic of new York

    Looking at West and Palin, I'm reminded of movies like "28 Days" and "Resident Evil". If conservatism is a virus that turns us into mouth-foaming babbling idiots – then we had all better watch out for these guys' bites!

    April 12, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. hypatia

    BWAHAHAHAHAAA! Did Rip van Winkle fall asleep in 1952 and just woke up?

    April 12, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. LynneSki

    Allen "Joe McCarthy" West likes public parks guess that makes him a communist too!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If you really want to talk about politicians having governmental control take a look at what is going on in Michigan!!!! Take a close close look....Republicans pushing through emergency legislation without the votes and saying they have the votes...when they would need many of the Dems to vote for the emergency level and they got ZERO of them in the first place!!!! then they have emergency financial managers that can just kick out all legally elected officials of a town and take over. Really??????????? And West is calling Dems in congress communists???

    April 12, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. cel

    West is in all likelihood, a Religious Fundamentalist, which makes him MORE dangerous than us socialists.

    April 12, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. mom4hope

    Yet another attempt by the Republicans to try to drag the country back to the 1950's. If he had paid attention in history class he would have learned that McCarthyism is not respected. The Republicans are so empty all they have is insults and fearmongering. There is no evidence of any plans to help Americans. It is incredible and West needs to resign because he is delusional and out of touch with reality.

    April 12, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. sftommy

    Congress: Communists? Wanna-be tyrants? Religious zealots? Freedom fighters? Money-grubbers? Haters-of all stripes! Compassionate Americans?

    This Congress, and how those Americans reach meaningful solutions to our nations problems is a grand thing! It works better in the long term better than any other system so far tried.

    Get over picking on any one minority and embrace the diversity! These peaceful arguments proves it is working!

    April 12, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. Andrée

    I do believe that there are many Socialists in Gongress. We the people don't want America to end-up like France, Italy, and the rest of them in Europe. Vote them all out, and have term limit.

    April 12, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  11. LynneSki

    Michigan's emergency financial manager law is communism in action...put in place by the Republican House, Senate a Governor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Get your own house in order Mr. Allen "Joe McCarthy" West before you start calling names

    April 12, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. christina knight

    On the positive side we will be able to say the former Rep. West in just a few months. Reichsfuhrer West perhaps you will be able to find a job at McDonalds in Jan. 2013.

    April 12, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. Zabazoom

    It's funny as the right wing spins it's BS and hate it falls farther down the rabbit hole. Now Idiots like West in Fla are trying to sell half the House Dem's as Commies. First they lose the Hispanic vote, then they lose the middle class vote, then they lose female vote, then they lose the Black vote, and now they are coming to insult of our intelligence. They do however seem to have the moron vote wrapped up.

    April 12, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Kain

    Why don't the FBI investigate into the accusation. Plus even if they did turn out to be communist like McCarthy did in fact find out the people he was investigating did turn out to be, would it make a difference? Freedoms in this country would permit pro-communist government members in the first place.

    April 12, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. Greyman

    Once I get my biomedical sciences bachelor's, the first thing I'm doing is looking for a hospital in another state that has on-the-job training for med techs. I've lived in Florida all my life, and now I've had my fill of the far-right idiotcy oozing out of Florida's every orifice.

    April 12, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. glennrobert

    I am a Liberal, socialist and I know why. Thank you, thank you Allen West! The Neocons need you.

    April 12, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. Glennf

    Finally.........Let's resurrect Joe McCarthy to go along with keeping women barefoot and pregnant. Surely there is room in the Republican platform for burning Liberal Heretics at the stake in the name of the new Republican Theocracy.

    Who are these people?

    April 12, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. tim dugan

    You can't equate the whole GOP to this one moron, the rest of the GOP has their own crazy ideas

    April 12, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  19. Anonymous


    There is a large number of dems in congress that are trying to promote marxist agendas such government controlled industry and redistribution of wealth. What gives one person the right to take what another person has earned or accumalted.


    The same can be said about repubs and their "corporations are people too" stance. Social welfare is a drop in the bucket compared to corporate welfare. What gives the government the right to take from the average taxpayer to redistribute to the top so they can further pad their bottom line and pay out huge bonuses to their execs?

    April 12, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. BR

    Republicans are simply counting on the ignorance of many on the right about what exactly communism is. Most of them don't know what socialism is either. (or the fact that the US already has many "socialist policies put in by Republicans over the years and still supported by the Tea Party"

    April 12, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    Tea Party candidate. Figures.

    April 12, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. The Real Truth and Nothing But the The Real Truth

    Bernie Sanders from Vermont is the only self proclaimed socialist in Congress and he caucases with the Democrats. I suspect that is because they share much of the same philosophy. And then there are "progressives" in the Democrat Party that are pretty much socialists is sheep's skin. The conservative blue dog Democrats have been pretty much driven out of the Democrat Party by the radicals in the Democrat Party because they were considered DINOs. So the Demorcat Party is now nothing more than a collection of leftist kooks like Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Wasserman Schitz, Barney Frank, etc.

    April 12, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. awsomedeal

    Just vote West out of office in november if you dont agree with what he spews.

    April 12, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. Charlie from the North

    Oh and one more thing, Don't you think that it is a real advancement for equal right when a black man can be an absolute knuckle dragging conservative idiot and get elected? Think about it. I mean it is one thing for Barack Obama to get elected he is wiser than any white person available for the job and while having him get elected is a step forward. The fact that black idiots can get electedas well as white ones is huge Thanks Florida.

    April 12, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. Malory Archer

    There is a large number of repugs in congress that are trying to promote fascist agendas such corporate controlled government and redistribution of wealth. What gives one person the right to take what another person has earned or accumalted?

    Social welfare is a drop in the bucket compared to corporate handouts. Regardless of what the right thinks, corporations aren't "people too, my friend". When a corporation is guilty of malfeasance, do they toss every employee in jail? No, chances are everyone walks away and the company gets even more taxpayer $$$.

    April 12, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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