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. Rita

    Joe McCarthy and his destructive ideas are alive and well in this Florida congressmen. Did he ever realize the damage caused by branding anyone who disagrees with him a "communist" oh, yes, Republicans don't want to revisit history. But I remember Richard Nixon with revulsion, and the Eisenhower years were dismal indeed. Mr. West, this is 2012, not 1952, when anyone who was called a communist had their lives ruined. I am a proud democrat, NOT a communist!!!!

    April 12, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  2. gailb59

    I like how these so called patriotic republicans call Democrats names like communists while at the same time supporting businesses who send American jobs to Communist countries like Red China. I wonder how much stuff these guy owns that was made in China.

    April 12, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  3. josh rogen

    of course there are Marxist in congress...there are fascist, socialist, and free thinkers, there's a whole spectrum of ideals that the US system pigeonholes into 2 parties..it all depends on ones perspective and which range of view each party encompass.

    April 12, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  4. paul

    Florida, you must be so proud of representative West who once again has disgraced the entire state. I find it hard to believe that there are not candidates with common sense to run from that district.

    April 12, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  5. mike

    This prove the point that you can be dumber than a of box rocks and still be voted into the U.S. Congress. Now! the question is who are at fault here, the American voters or the republicans/tea bagger in his state. This have been a big problem over a number of years where nut cases like Mr. West is voted into office without anyone looking very closely at what people like him are saying to the voters before they are voted into office. Again look at the republicans/tea baggers presidential candidates for 2012, GOD HELP US!! if one of them get voted into office.

    April 12, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  6. Larry L

    This former Army officer who pretends to have been a Colonel was finished when he received an Article 15 for very unwise and undisciplined behavior. He left the Army as a failed Battalion Commander who could have never maintained a Top Secret security clearance, much less get promoted to the much coveted position of Colonel. He is an African American who has learned to milk the conservative teat – saying the dishonest and dishonorable things the right-wing loves. He strikes out like an animal forced into a corner. It's Florida...

    April 12, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  7. amac

    I thought the only communists left in America were in Hollywood.

    April 12, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  8. dc

    Instead of just drinking the kool-aid and rambling in unison, why don't some of you try some real research for a change and check out the Congressional Progressive Caucus?

    April 12, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  9. Dick Diamond

    Allen West is so 1950.

    April 12, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  10. Sagebrush Shorty

    He may be wrong, but he's not far wrong.

    April 12, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  11. Joshua Ludd

    Well, I guess he would know.. after all, if you believe West, he has a higher security clearance than the President.

    April 12, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  12. Joshua Ludd

    Also... yeah, dude.. their ideas are so radically socialist that many of them were actually proposed by Republicans first.

    April 12, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  13. Bob

    And this is what we are talking about when we say that the GOP are impossible to work with.

    April 12, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  14. Oreste Ona.

    Fidel Castro used to claim he was not a communist, till he took complete control. Any similarity?

    April 12, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  15. Ivan Bial

    Allan West shots his moth off again.
    If you disagree with him, you're a communist.
    Recently he sided with the hotel and resort industry that does not want to install lifts to aid the disabled entering and leaving pools and spas.
    West a Republican who is elected to represent all the people in his district finds it proper to side with corporations.
    I can't help but wonder how many of our returning brave young members of the military who served under Congressman West now need a lift to enter and leave swimming pools and hot tubs.
    It would be interesting to learn how many hotel and resort owners have contributed to his campaign.
    Shame on you Congressman West.

    April 12, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  16. defff

    The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government.

    April 12, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  17. Jt_flyer

    And his state is near the top in the union in foreclosures and unemployment. Its not necessary to actually achieve anything anymore in this country. Just use the some old freeking buzz words. Exemplary congressman.

    April 12, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  18. stew

    Confederency of the Dunces was awesome a must read written by Kennedy O'Toole.

    April 12, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  19. Reggie from LA

    Well, Mr West, you made it to the "big time". You will be able to tell everyone until the end of time that you served in Congress. A regular big wheel. That oughtta soothe the ache of your past. We're so proud of you. They'll find some high payin' job for you and you'll grin at yourself in the mirror, but you won't know what you are looking at. You'll just think you do.

    April 12, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  20. Mavent

    It's like Republicans are becoming cartoons of themselves. To quote a great American: "Have you no decency, sir? At long last, have you no decency at all?"

    April 12, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  21. Orwell seen it before

    Behold the Republican future for America: NOTHING

    April 12, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  22. JJinCVCA

    Okay, Mr. Allen West, and Republicans in Congress and elsewhere are all bonafide FASCISTS, and the American people are going to vote them out. There, now it's all even.

    April 12, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  23. Sandy

    These people will say anything to get attention. The problem is that they don't seem to understand that even words have consequences. George Orwell wrote about these people many years ago in a book called 1984. When I read that book, long before the actual year of 1984, I thought it was strictly satire. Sadly, it has long since become reality. Imagine if somebody like Mitt Romney actually becomes President. He would be beholden to people like Palin, this guy West, and all the rest this rabble. Reasonable people can disagree about how to solve problems, but most of the Republican Party has long ceased to be "reasonable people." Given the size of the blocs of people on the right and in the center/left, gridlock looks like a permanent condition for the US.

    April 12, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  24. JIM

    Joe McCarthy had the right idea, he just took it to the wrong place. Hollywood, being controlled mostly by Jewish money wasn't in any danger of being influenced by a religion repressive ideology. Either by design or inadvertantly, directed attention away from the real target of the Communist movement, Americas bastions of higher education. America has already become a socialist society. The target now is the world. The grand plan is a one world socialist society with the United Nations serving as the Politbureau. American universities in conjunction with the CIA has placed NGO's throughout the world with the goal of disrupting any Government that may not fall in line with a Socialist controlled world. If you live in America, and think you own anything stop paying taxes and see just what you own. Marx..Control the minds of the youth and you can soon control the entire society!!!!!

    April 12, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  25. pjoe

    Well, there are a lot of big-government redistribute-the-wealth type progressives in the Democrat Party. Communists may be the wrong term ... but it's really a distinction without a difference.

    April 13, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
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