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. Hawk in Texas

    Leave it to a republican to get his party's mixed up. it is the tea drinking talaban far right evangelistic consertive republicans that he is talking about. i guess he is still mad about having to pick cotton.

    April 12, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. carlos

    he was disgraced by the army still is a disgrace as a repubic along with all those who agree with him on this intelligent forum,where did they come from with their below plant level IQ s?

    April 12, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. Owen Meany

    Allen West's 15 minutes of fame are over....NOW!

    April 12, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. Knucklehead

    I remember when 'progress' was a good thing.

    April 12, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. exodus84

    Well if those people are communists then Allen West is clearly a fascist. This piece of trash would sell his mother to make a buck for himself or his corporate puppet masters!

    April 12, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. curious

    Allen West and Clarence Thomas are the icons of the republican party,

    April 12, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. Ozzie

    An endless stream of idiotic, unpatriotic republicans.

    April 12, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. cnwilli

    the U.S. Communist party strongly objects to being characterized as progressive liberals for fear it will damage their party's image....

    April 12, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. slason

    Socialism, communism, capitalism, etc.. are just ideological terms given to basic economic principles. They've ALL existed in harmony throughout ALL society's. Only today corporate media has convinced the dittoheads that jobs bills are 'communism' or universal health care is 'socialism'. It's pathetic and the lizard brains eat it up! Sad.

    April 12, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Nodack

    More BS political witch hunt crap. I'm getting so sick of politics.

    April 12, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. Charles Schmitt

    All this talk of Communism, witchcraft, spreading the plague, this is all crap. Its simple anyone in AMERICA who believes that it is the role of the NATIONAL, not STATE, government to tell every AMERICAN they need to pay a tax for a so-called retirement account, pay a penalty if they dont want medical insurance, and pay for programs that are not in the CONSTITUTION is not an AMERICAN. They believe in socialized medicine, socialized programs link Social Security, Medicade/Medicare, food stamps, and other ENTITLEMENTS. I believe its a simple philosophy that the U.S. has moved away from the 10th AMENDMENT. Its that simple. The Federal government has the right to control commerce and the means of defense . . . THAT IS IT.

    April 12, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |

    The unhinged GOBP . Let them talk.

    April 12, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. RAWoD

    How does the GOP think they have any chance when they have c r a p spewing i d i o t s like this b o z o? Boys: you have become the laughing stock of the (roughly) 65 percent of the voters that are NOT GOP.

    April 12, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  14. shugee

    Sounds like West just created a whole new bunch of communists.The actual communist party must be thankful for the recruiting effort.

    April 12, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. Accutron

    It's always refreshing to see people in power speaking uncomfortable yet obvious truths about the core of the Democratic party, especially a black man. The Democratic party has been on the socialism/communism train since at least Lyndon Johnson, and the successful implementation of their agendas in this country can be traced back almost a century if you start looking at the history of certain private organizations like Planned Parenthood. What's really amazing is that the Democrats in power have managed to convince black people that they're "on their side", when actually they're just using them as a voting block while surreptitiously culling their population under the guise of womens' rights.

    Here's a couple relevant Lyndon Johnson quotes, regarding his push for civil rights legislation..."I'll have those nig*ers voting Democratic for the next 200 years." .... "These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.” When you vote Democrat, that's what you're really voting for.

    April 12, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. Veritas

    The 1950s called and want you back. Communists? Really? Why no accuse them of being Royalists while your at it. You need to join the 21st century. This guy is a first class idiot.

    April 12, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. Alan Ullman

    And this is why I think of the Republican Party as the American Taliban– a batch of religious fanatics who want to push their bizarre ideology down our throats. Why would we listen to any group who brought us McCarthy, Nixon, etc?

    April 12, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  18. mendrys

    Typical. Instead of having an honest policy debate, which he is incabable of doing, he resorts to name calling. Now he's got Palin's endorsement? It's pointless. Comments such as these only pander to his base, which is shrinking daily as people become aware of the tea parties real platform of increased government control.

    April 12, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  19. amazedinUS

    OOOhhh PLEASE, Romney, pick this guy!!

    Pretty Please?

    April 12, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. Natalie

    Another perfect example of GOP mindless rhetoric. Thank goodness this will be over in 2012 when Obama smashes the Etch-a-Sketch.

    April 12, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  21. Arch

    Well, it's also true that Allen West is a member of the Very Silly Party (i.e., the far right extreme of the Silly Party). And, unfortunately for him (and his delusional and semi-delusional followers), November shall be a drubbing of historic proportions, brought to them by . . . the Sensible Party.

    April 12, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. Tex71

    The GOP morbid fixation on Reagan seems to be progressing into a delusion that we are still fighting the Cold War.
    Inside sources suggest Allen West will be holding a press conference next week revealing names of Democratic members of Congress who are actually Soviet spies. Less credible sources have Rep. West calling for Democrats to be burned for witchcraft, but this seems unlikely as witchcraft was outlawed in the Soviet Union.

    April 12, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  23. ya right

    Heh only a Republican would raise a ghost from the past to fear up a few votes.

    April 12, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. vatoloke

    Personally I'd never heard of this goon but how did I know it was going to be a Repubican?

    April 12, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  25. xman

    Allen West is an idiot

    April 12, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
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