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. JC

    Have any of you wing-nuts heard about Joe McCarthy and his relentless insistence that Democrats were communists? Do a little research and see how well that worked out for him.

    April 12, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Malory Archer

    Accutron, concerning your posting of LBJ quotes: as I was reading them, it occured to me that if LBJ were alive today, he'd be a republican.

    April 12, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    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."

    Absolutely amazing that you and all the other West believers posting here would fall for this line of BS. All the "sites" you've seen reporting this for a long time also report that the moon landing was faked.

    Un-freakin-believable that folks like you manage to get through the day in one piece, you are so incredibly dumb.

    April 12, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. The Real Truth and Nothing But the The Real Truth

    So the Democrats believe in wealth redistribution, a great government controlled welfare state, a progressive tax code that is used to implement these leftist ideas and then they want to nationalize our healthcare system with a government run single payer system. Then you have the lefties on the USSC saying the government can take your home and land if they can get more tax revenue from a new owner. Sure sounds like socialist/communist BS to me.

    April 12, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. AgrippaMT

    Shades of Joe McCarthy, although this time a black one. Alan West is certifiably insane. Another typical Florida Republican.

    April 12, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. David Ellis

    He is not calling all Democrats communists. He is saying a group of Democrats belonging to the Congressional Progressive Caucus espouse the same principles as communists and Marxists.
    Feel free to read the actual quote, as well as the background on this group in wikipedia.
    1 excerpt:
    ...an increase in income tax rates on upper-middle and upper class households, tax cuts for the poor, and an increase in welfare spending by the federal government.

    He is factually accurate, regardless of the vitriol he has caused.

    April 12, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Jeff

    Ignorant Moron.
    If he does make it to VP, he won't be there long.

    April 12, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. Malory Archer

    For those of you referring to this disgraceful waste of flesh as COLONEL; that is an insult to every Colonel in uniform. This fascist was a LIEUTENANT COLONEL – A LOWER RANK THAN A COLONEL and you're embarrassing yourselves with your ignorance. Oh wait, you're tea trolls so you're too ignorant to be embarrassed for yourselves. You are, however turning off thinking Americans and driving them towards the dems, so keep up the good work.

    April 12, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. SMJ

    He's from my state of Flori-DUH and needs to be unemployed ASAP. And I'm a Republican. Voting for Obama, by the way.

    April 12, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Jerry

    The kettle calling the pot black!

    April 12, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. Republicans are Neanderthals

    Mr. EraserHead never knows when to keep his big mouth shut.

    April 12, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. Malory Archer


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


    Care to provide some examples of Democratic Congressmembers/Senators calling the GOP much worse? No? Didn't think so. Now go play over there while the grownups converse.

    April 12, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Lando

    I'll takie a communist than a terrorist like this punk..

    April 12, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. The Real Truth and Nothing But the The Real Truth

    While we're on the topic...

    How many US Presidents have you seen give a Russian Minister a wink and a nod while tapping him on the leg and promising to be "more flexible" after the election? In four years, I'll bet Obama has never been that friendly with the anybody excpet maybe his union masters.

    April 12, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  15. ellid

    Let me get this straight: a man who was convicted of torturing prisoners now has the unmitigated gall to revive a sixty year out of date slur against elected representatives who belong to the Progressive Caucus. And he thinks he's worthy of being Vice President?


    April 12, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Oldbear 60

    This individual is a "wingnut" . Any intelligent person can see Communism didn't/doesn't work. The tenets he is claiming for the democrats is actually liberalism to the extreme. No law against either of those, just common sense. But then if common sense were common he'd not get re-elected and Congress wouldn't be such a mess.

    April 12, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. Gert

    Communism is a social economic policy, not an adjective for evil. If anything Communism is downright Christian. Everyone shares in everything equally.

    April 12, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. Iconoclast

    As if we don't have enough to ashamed of along comes Alan West and his following of fools. How can we ever top this? I'm certain the witch trials and burnings at the stake will be the next move for this wonderful state we call Florida. Jesus Christ!

    April 12, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. The Real Truth and Nothing But the The Real Truth

    A more accurate statement would be "There are no ADMITTED communists in Congress."

    April 12, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  20. SomeNameHere

    Who voted for this Allen West nut and why? This guy is playing the delusional paranoid fringe like a fiddle. Wake up fringe and don't believe this drivel from a lightweight like Allen West.

    April 12, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. Name working mom

    They are. I used to live there. When the economy went south, my dad, a democrat, living there wanted to know when "they" (the government) were going to fix it. Pretty scary. Asked those who escaped Castro how that was working for them.

    April 12, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. Bill

    West is a disgrace to the unifrom and this country.

    April 12, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. info

    west, who was allowed to leave the military service early to avoid a court martial, has nothing to offer America. He is very poorly educated and has no grasp at all of how government works or the economic situation in the world.
    He only has one ability. To spout out b.s. lies.
    He is a tragic result of lock-step party voting. People vote for "their" party and get idiots like west

    April 12, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. notahistorianbut

    Ever hear the saying it takes one to know one? (Only to reflect on the stupidity of the congressman's use of divisive rhetoric). Isn't it time our politicians show they're more intelligent the 5 year olds fighting on the playground? As long as we tolerate having name-calling, fearmongering idiocy thrown out by these ????? just seems to show how low our politiicans, and ourselves, have sunk. Though it'd be nice to get past the name calling – when there's nothing to offer, this may be all that's left.

    April 12, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. Michael Smith

    He seems to be blind to the fact that his Republican cohorts are trying to establish a Fascist system to replace the USA democracy.

    April 12, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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