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)

    So calling every democrat a communist wasn't enough a member of his staff compares democrats to Marxists and socialists. And he also attacks muslims in congress. Next he will attack african-americans, which he is one, just not to leave anybody out.

    April 12, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. Vibrato Yodeler

    if Democrats were Communists,.. then Obama would be the Premiere,.. there would be no freedom of speech for idiots like Joe West,.. and he would be exiled to Siberia for opening his big mouth,.. come to think of it, that's not such a bad idea.

    April 12, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. billy davis

    This idiot just spouts the dumbest things constantly and the GOP calls him a Patriot. No, he's a fool to say the things most in the GOP will never say.

    April 12, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  4. Richard Simpson

    Our elected officials need to spend more time getting things back on track and less time throwing feces around. West is a deranged moron that does not have the mental cacpacity to serve this Country. I am sick of Republicans who only represent a minority yet who hold the rest of us hostage so they can push through their greedy agenda. West needs to have his head examined, because he has the delusions of a paranoid schizoid personality (just like the majority of tea baggers).

    April 12, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. TheSoundOfSilence

    "West elected to retire after an investigation of his conduct during the interrogation of a detainee in Taji, Iraq.[6] "

    well, we all know he is a man with unquestionable ... ahem ... integrity ... cought ...cought ...cought ...

    West then fired his pistol near Hamoodi's head,[6] after which Hamoodi provided West with names and information, which Hamoodi later described as "meaningless information induced by fear and pain."[6]

    West was charged with violating articles 128 (assault) and 134 (general article) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. During a hearing held as part of an Article 32 investigation in November 2003, West stated, "I know the method I used was not right, but I wanted to take care of my soldiers."[10]

    He can say all he wants. He is a man that think the ends justify the means and only care for himself and those close to him, no matter what the costs are for other peoples. A man with no sense of justice, flawed morals, and a questionable record. I am surprised a man like that ever made it to congress.

    For some reason, I can't help seing similariies between west and peoples like Assad and Gadafi. Another witch hunt comming with west as head priest of a new cult perhaps .... Those are bad times.

    Corruption seems to be rampant in a certain party, when peoples of dubious reputation are accepted in a party that was founded by the great Abraham Lincoln !

    Perhaps west should reflect on Lincoln values. His main accomplishment was to end slavery. If West had been born white, what would he have said to Lincoln. I'm sure he was have criticized him for being for equality and for raising the status of slaves to free men.

    I think West being born black may be a joke of mother nature. Because he seems to have no love for freedom of for human rights. He's not at all like great men such as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King

    And as a whole, the more the Republican are trying to find their roots, the more they loose them. Can't they at least open an history book and see what Lincoln did. He abolished slavery for God's sake. He gave equal chances for all. Lincoln was a socialist and humanist before those words got invented ! He's one of the great man that showed the road forward. And he was an equalitarian, because this is one of the great value the founding father choosed to define America.

    So please Mr West. Stay Silent. And try to repay your debt to society by compensating the evil actions of your past. That the tribunal was not harsher doesn't mean you are innocent in the face of god, no matter what your self justification and arrogance are. I'm sure a man like you think he's verry powerfull, totally invulnerable, and enjoy trampling other peoples rights. But is that really all you are born for.

    April 12, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  6. scott

    Yep...we really need more guys like this to "bring us together"...where would we be without the republican party.

    April 12, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. DCD

    People like this need to be booted out of office immediately! This is not what we are paying these people for. I think it's time we clean house and give these jobs to people that want them and can make a difference in this country. It's sickening anymore to see these morons in the news. What a childish statement to make that Democrats are Communist.

    April 12, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. CV

    LOL. Accusing Dems of being communists would be an insult to China and other communist countries.

    April 12, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. Kris

    I'm a democrat. I spent two tours in the US Navy defending what America stands for. For him to call me a communist is an outrage.

    April 12, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. ug

    He is right! after all the libs have called the GOP way worse than this...

    April 12, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. ray

    So he has the courage to tell the truth, big deal. Vote for Romney, he's no Commie.

    April 12, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. Cheryl Jefferies

    He's absolutely right. I've seen sites reporting this for a long time. Check out some sites on American Communists and American Socialists. You'll see he's right on target. And, telling the truth. But, neither you nor your readers will do that. You don't care about truth and neither do those who use CNN for their "news."

    April 12, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. Jacob

    West brings back discussion that Congress hasn't heard since the 1950s and a haircut no one has seen since 1990. Living in the past, what Teapublicans do best.

    April 12, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. BeverlyNC

    Alan West proves again why he should be jerked out of office. He is an extremist nutjob who spreads hate, lies, and does nothing for the People he represents. We need real leaders and Republicans are not leaders- just liars nd traitors of the People.

    April 12, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. JC

    Don't you just love it when someone prefaces their comment with "We the People," assuming that the majority of Americans think like them. Not.

    April 12, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. JP Johnson

    What is this, the 1950's? The wall fell a year after I was born...how is this still a thing? The Cold War's over, American communists have no one to report to. Oh, and as a Socialist, I am bemused that people think Democrats are this radical.

    April 12, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. Dawn

    Socialists and communists, what Teapublicans always accuse Democrats of being. I love how they say these sorts of things while they are spreading Fascism more than the Nazis did.

    April 12, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  18. Matte

    Communst, marxist, same old name calling crap. they will never learn. the american people what to move in a new direction. to keep trying the same old trickle down economic bs over and over and over again is so ignorant it makes west look like an old hill billy lost in the future. it never worked it only was used in the past to get rich people to invest and spend. the middle class has all but dried up in this country. they are the building blocks of econimically stong nations. get a clue west needs major psychiatric treatment.

    April 12, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  19. Roger

    I thought that Sgt. Shaw had dispatched John Iselin.
    If you ar a Republican I would be embarassed by this idiot's statement. "I have heard". If not embarassed you are as ignorant as this idiot. Produce the names and backup or shut your lying mouth.

    April 12, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Doug, he was a LIEUTENANT COLONEL – and a DISGRACED ONE AT THAT! Get your facts straight. That you didn't know that gives lie to everything else you've posted.

    April 12, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  21. kayla

    mr. west, you don't have to act the way you LOOK

    April 12, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. Gerry Daley

    USA = CRackpot nation.

    April 12, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. poinpounderthe3rd

    haha. The Tea Party doesn't even know what a communist is. They don't know what a Socialist is neither which is why they probably will be voting for Romney

    April 12, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. Seriously?

    Come on – this guy is a black Republican. That right there tells you he's not right in the head. Not because he's black, but because he's a black Republican. Hell, just being a Republican is enough to get you labeled insane.


    ANSWER: Because they are NOT economic geniuses. They are greedy monsters who care only about their own lust for money and power and screw anyone who gets in their way.

    April 12, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. Mark from Canada

    So I can say blah and get my post through, but I post an insightful comment about Marx and it disappears? There is truly something wrong with America when our voices and speech is selectively silenced.

    April 12, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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