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. Ken in MD

    The first line of this article says it all. "Florida Rep. Allen West's controversial comments have once again landed him in the headlines". Mission accomplished.

    As long as politicians avoid talking politics and resort to name calling, Congress will continue to get low approval ratings and nothing else accomplished. It's time for members of Congress to stop the name calling and start doing the jobs they're paid to do.

    April 12, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. farmdog47

    who are they? lets name em mr west. and get these godless commies out of our govment. where's the slect house committee on unmercan activieties when you need it.

    April 12, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. once upon a horse

    ever notice when the GOP is on the losing end of a situation they always throw out the Communist or Socialist card? This is not new.....time to move on.

    April 12, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. FParana

    If he can say "Communist", we can say "Nazi."

    April 12, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. once upon a horse

    just like the socialist call I bet over half of the folks that agree with this guy don't even know what a real Communist is.

    April 12, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. Nobody N. Particular

    Looks like the USA is about to become a failed state, since our leaders are too busy blaming one another and not paying attention to where they are driving this country. This country use to be about setting personal differences aside and working together to ensure a stronger future for our children, but that is no longer the case; now its all about demonizing the other side. My suggestion to the people who want to survive this train wreck, buy ammunition (and if needed a firearm), and stock up on food and water because you will not be able to rely on ANY government services. God help us in our time of crisis and please beat some sense into our leaders' heads so they will start seeing the damage they are doing when they blindly lash out at one another. BTW, it doesn't matter which party you belong to, both have been harmful to this nation, and if you can't see that, then maybe you are part of the problem.

    April 12, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. Bob H

    Oh yeah..80 commies..and 20 vampires,10 werewolves, 7 zombies and 1 nut, Allen West

    April 12, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. Joseph

    The sooner we clean out bottom dwelers like West, the better off the rest of America will be. The Tea Hags has got to go.

    April 12, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. TH

    Look at the World laughing at us now. In the grand scheme of things, The Democratic Party is hardly "communists". If the party is anywhere except in the United States, it would be considered a conservative party. The Republican Party would be labeled as a hard line Fascist party.

    April 12, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. RES

    What free markets? The GOP gives tax breaks to companies who offshore jobs, and tax subsidies to oil companies to make record profit off of our nations oil! The U.S. is not a free enterprise economy anymore.

    April 12, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. RES

    When is the middle class going to wake up and realize that neo-cons are ruining this nation?!

    April 12, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. john

    Glad someone is putting that in the open for everyone to see.
    Really disturbing that no-one is even disputing the claims. ...Hell in a handbasket – thats where we are headed.

    April 12, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. NTRUMP1

    Unless you get a paycheck it's not work. Democrats are completely unaware of the fabric of society and the sacrifices necessary to strengthen society and freedom. Look at the democrats that disrespect the military. Wonder what Rosen thinks of the military.

    April 12, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. Johann Schmitt

    Theres a difference between marxists and democrats. Marxists are awesome, Democrats aren't.

    April 12, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  15. Little Whirlwind is outraged

    I'm not surprised that neo facist republicans would call democrat communists

    But now that russia has dropped the act, and stopped pretending to be communist, you have to wonder who are the real 'commies'.

    The republicans have no democratic values,
    they have no republican values,
    stand opposed to everything Abraham Lincoln stood by
    support the chinese tea party
    support chinese slavery
    are endorsed by corporations exploiting chinese slaves
    are demanding to remove all regulations
    are demanding laws allowing rich peoples to kill young peoples at will on any pretext
    are demanding laws to harvest organs from live donor so aging wives can get a facelift

    You have to wonder, who is american public enemy number one

    April 12, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. sosume

    John – No one is disputing his claims? Why would anybody bother? They are nonsense. It is no different from a lunatic claiming the earth is flat.

    April 12, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. Edgardo

    Perhaps he needs to be reminded that we live in a democracy and people are allowed to have an practice any doctrine, be it political, religious, etc. Or maybe that has changed and he as a congressperson knows something that people at large ignores. PLEASE ENLIGHTEN US!

    April 12, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. 1st

    In 1995, Republican Strategist Grover Norquist launched an effort known as the K Street Project. Named after K Street in Washington D.C., the K Street Project would have the G.O.P pressure lobbyist of Washington firms to hire top Republicans and reward those loyal to the G.O.P access to influential Officials. Allowing politians to solicit money from lobbyist in exchange for businesses to rewrite government regulations and better access to Officials. The largest lobbying Firms Headquarters are on K Street in Washington D.C. Since 1776, American Conservatism has been against utopian ideas of political and social progress. Everyone's a communist to a capitalist, and this country was suppose to be built on christian values. How does America stand up to Mark 8:36 & Deuteronomy 15:7.

    April 12, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. John Smith

    What a waste of oxygen.

    April 12, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Macc

    When both parties signed a free trade with communist China and sent our manufacturing jobs over there..
    That is when both parties began supporting communism.

    April 12, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. American

    Ok, well that's it...officially have decided not voting for any Republicans this year.

    I will vote straight Democrat (& Independent) until my former GOP can disassociate itself from this type of nonsense, as well as its undeserving war on American women's rights, neoconservative foreign policies, and tax plans unfairly favoring the rich.

    April 12, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. ljjm

    Imagine the flack if a Democrat said Congressional Republicans are Nazis.

    April 12, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  23. CongoJack

    It is terrifying that people here think that communism=democrat. The people who state this (like West) do not know (1) American history, (2) what communism/socialism means. Communism is the government control over the means of production; how has the American government done this?... they haven't and low information voters will eat up the phrases of 'communism' and simply be afraid. I feel sorry for America when a number of our citizens cannot think logically for themselves and only believe what they hear/see on right wing media.

    April 12, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  24. Alexis

    Yeh, and Pres. Obama is a Muslim too, right? Joe McCarthy is reincarnated. May God have Mercy on the Tea/Republican Party.

    April 12, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. 1st

    Deuteronomy 15:7 & Mark 8:36, If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lordthy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thy heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul.

    April 12, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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