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. nonredneck

    Wow, somebody is finally speaking the truth! Judge people by what they do, not what they say. The Democrats have been pushing the communist agenda for a long time.

    April 12, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. Jackson

    Wow, see, this is what happens when you let someone like Santorum run for President. Everyone else starts thinking it is 1950 again.

    April 12, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. Byrd

    This is the first I've heard that West was on to us. Whatever shall we do now...?

    April 12, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. Jackson

    Love the hypocrisy.

    Conservatives can try and legislate a woman's uterus, and that is ok, but heaven forbid you start toying with economic policies, suddenly you're overstepping.

    April 12, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  5. Scott

    It's true, but he didn't have to say it.

    April 12, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. Talmonis


    "Wow, somebody is finally speaking the truth! Judge people by what they do, not what they say. The Democrats have been pushing the communist agenda for a long time."


    That's cute. So by your logic, most of the Republican party(and ALL of the Tea-party) are National Socialists? Good to know. I'll take Communism over Fascism any day, at least we'll have food to eat, houses to live in and healthcare.

    April 12, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. TheAlaskaCurmudgeon

    Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Democratic Party?

    April 12, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. Doug

    Well Col. West should be happy, as many great Americans like him are, that in his state of Flordia yesterday a registered Democrat in Sanford was charged with murder and will most likely not be able to cast a vote for Democrats and Obama this November.

    April 12, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. Lolo

    Please tell this idiot to go sit down. Now that he has made his money he wants evryone else to suffer. This man definitely knows how to pander to the right. They are just using him just like Steele and Cain.

    April 12, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. punctus

    So...these guys are "communists" and West sees himself and his fellow Republicans at the other end of the political spectrum? I guess that makes West a Fascist?

    April 12, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Mike

    First he accuses a large swath of Democratic congressman for being communist, then complains that the media is focusing on semantics. Frankly, I always thought he was anti-semantic

    April 12, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. scooter

    Not sure what planet this guy, or any of the other lame brains who think that there is anything communist about Obama, are living on. However intelligence has never been a hallmark of these types people. How exactly is Obama nationalizing the means of production (I am talking in reality not in fantasy land)? There is NO evidence of any of this clap trap, only the seemingly unending internet circle-jerk of the empty heads.

    April 12, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. dee

    To nonredneck and the others. Whoever says that either party is pushing a Communist agenda has never lived in a Communist-led country. I can assure you that neither party is even remotely close.

    April 12, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. anagram_kid

    So this week it is communism??? I predict next week Democrats and Liberals will be accused of witchcraft, then spreading the plague, then being lepers and finally causing that big flood. And I am sure that some GOPer will say that Liberals are the reason the sun ‘goes away at night’. Seriously GOP, this is what you have to offer?
    Obama 2012 – Because achievement trumps fear and lies

    April 12, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. Mike

    I have a cocker spaniel who is better qualified to serve in Congress than this lame excuse for a human being. The Sunshine State isn't called FloriDUH for nothing! I'm a card carrying member of the GOP, and his remarks make me want to leave the party.

    April 12, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. JohnK

    Another winner from the Republican "brain trust".

    Joe McCarthy is smiling wherever he is.

    April 12, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. glyder

    look up socialist party of america and the list of congressional democrats.the msm will ignore and white wash it.

    April 12, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. HercNYC

    West is trying to fit in anywhere he can .He's sad, he'll say or do anything to move up the republican ladder.
    Statements like this will get him extra Support and also pad his Bank Account.

    April 12, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. Paul

    Allen West seems actually to be mentally ill. I'd be surprised if he lasts another election but, this being America, maybe he will.

    April 12, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. El Diablo

    Are they Communists/Socialists or in the Unions' pockets? You can't have both.

    April 12, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  21. JonDie

    A typical ignorant comment from a typically illiterate Republican.

    April 12, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  22. Knucklehead

    This just in: Allen West announces the formation of the Congressional Regressive Caucus...

    None of us will be safe until everyone else is dead.

    April 12, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  23. Rob in MO

    If you have nothing useful to contribute, resort to name-calling, a common repub tactic.

    April 12, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. jim

    Nixon, a Republican, was the one who turned from supporting the Chinese Nationalist, to supporting the Chinese Communist.

    What did that make Nixon? Do today's Republicans still approve of this relationship with Communist China?

    How many Republicans support bringing US jobs back from Communist China to the US?

    So Allen West, please shut up with your "He's a Communist" BS!! - WE ALL LOVE COMMUNIST CHINA !!!!

    That's why Americans have so many of Apple's products – Because WE ALL LOVE COMMUNIST CHINA !!!!

    April 12, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. Joel

    Oh, is it time to whip up the base again already?

    April 12, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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