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. LMD

    It is time to clean house once and for all in this country. We need to vote each one the Politicians out of office and start from scratch. if we continue on this downward spiral any longer,we surely will implode ourselves let alone outsiders.We are going backwards at a much faster rate than we did forward.

    April 13, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  2. normajean @ verizon ,com

    This person {not man}...is living in a dream world that if he says something that gets people talking, it will help them realize how important he is!!! The fact that what he is saying makes little sense doesn't occur to him. I've seen him interviewed on the tube and he always comes across as arrogant and a bit sly...... LIKE EVEN HE DOESN'T BELIEVE WHAT HE'S SAYING. In this case he's reaching too far.., much too far!!!!!

    April 13, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  3. Nick

    West is an idiot and has no idea what he is talking about. He just thought being a black he needs to say something offensive about democrats that make GOP trust him.

    April 13, 2012 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  4. dwadaf

    Who cares... our government was founded on freedom of opinions and ideals. If we ban one, we fall into the traps that lead to exclusion, harassment, and eventually disenfranchisement. The more diverse our government is the less chance we have of becoming something we hate and are constantly complaining about... elitists.

    April 13, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  5. Average Joe

    Lol. Seriously? This will be the only way the GOP will be able to manipulate voters; provided the voters they are trying to reach are that ignorant to believe this silly drivel. Watching what the GOP keeps trying to use is like reading a bad comic book! (I shake my head in disbelief and scoff).

    April 13, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  6. Larry

    Communists? No there ar extremists but the basics of what a lot of people on the left are pushing is what goes on in canada and the uk. The government runs healthcare there are NO income taxes and things cost a ton but thats because there are little to no other taxes. I dare this ass to call the governments of canada and the uk communists and see how that turns out.

    April 13, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  7. MartyGRMI

    "West responded, "I believe there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party."" – The answer to the question was zero. If this ID10T doesn't know the difference between a communist and a progressive democrat he doesn't deserve to hold office.

    April 13, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  8. Thinks2010

    Just when you think you'v heard the weirdest, most backward, most distorted stupidity possible a Republican/Tea Partisan opens its mouth and proves you haven't. Sheesh.

    April 13, 2012 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  9. Carl Peteron

    I really like Allen West but he is way out of line on the Communist issue. I don't know where he came up with this nonsense and he certainly is not doing the Tea Party or the Republican party any justice by saying what he said. Although I disagree with the Democrats on a lot of things and how they want a socialist country I know they really love our country as much as Republicans do.

    April 13, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  10. Brian

    Small children exhibit this type of histrionic behavior to get noticed.

    April 13, 2012 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  11. Bye Bye Republican Party

    “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group of course that believes you can do these things. Among them are a few other Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
    ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

    April 13, 2012 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  12. CommiesToTheLeftOfMeCommiesToTheRight

    They're all communists in congress, all of them, including Allen West. We all are. Actually, we're not all card carrying communists–just communist supporters. Look around your house. Almost everything you own has the communist stamp of approval on it. Every time you go shopping, you send some of your dollars to the communist party. That's just the way it is. We send them our support with the stuff we buy, and then we send them more with interest on the loans we take out so we can buy more of their stuff so we afford to send them even more of our support. You want to see a member of the communist party–or at least a supporter–just look in the mirror.

    April 13, 2012 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  13. arlindsay

    General Anthony McAuliffe said it best.

    April 13, 2012 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  14. Mike R

    There is a secret government consisted of secret society of members in the high ranks of political power. Democrats and Republicans are used as pawns by them to carry out their orders through hidden agendas. This FL republican is being used to shift blame to the democrats on something that they would suspect the republicans of being. These pawns are used to influence public opinion on who should be the next president. Fight the Power for your god-given rights!!

    April 13, 2012 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  15. tcaros

    What else do you expect from a republican ? They have no solutions, no truth in them.

    April 13, 2012 05:34 am at 5:34 am |
  16. Stopthemadness

    The clown making these comments about Democrats being communists is as funny as hear Republicans call themselves Pro-Life. The communist party has denied any similarities to their party by the Democrats yet these knuckle heads keep trying I love it.

    April 13, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  17. Jules

    At some point, can we expect another conservative article about how "the left" fears this teatard too.

    April 13, 2012 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  18. "He's Dead Jim."

    I find his accusation enjoyable. It is not far fetched at all for anyone to think that there are people in high offices in our nation who do not really like our country and what we stand for. I would think anyone believing that we don't have any "moles" in our leadership rank as being more naive or "tea party like" than that man will ever hope to be.

    April 13, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  19. "He's Dead Jim."

    Any ideology is ripe to be corrupted. Ideology goes like this: "We are in charge and this particular ideology is good enough for the schmucks we rule." "It is not good enough for us and, we will live in the manner we see fit."

    April 13, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  20. Tony

    Without Lyndon Johnson and Democrats in Congress pushing through the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this idiot would not be in Congress. It is true that Southern Democrats opposed the law, and liberal Republicans supported it. However, Southern Democrats had moved over to the Republican Party, and liberal Republicans are now an endangered species.

    April 13, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  21. blake

    Absolutely. Do the naive American people really understand the ideology embraced by the entire Democratic party and by RINOs? They are almost all Marxists. And yes, some are Communists. Our president is a hard core Marxist. As are the people he surrounds himself with.

    April 13, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  22. Mike

    West is a joke, a boofoon, a charleton.

    It wont surprise me when he's caught in a restroom stall with some guy.

    April 13, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  23. WhatNow

    I had to dig to find this article. Apparently, it is more important to endlessly discuss something a political pundit said as opposed to comments made by an elected official.

    April 13, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  24. Dennis B.

    the saddest part of these comments is that the Republican leadership doesn't have the nerve to condemn these comments.

    April 13, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  25. Zius Patagus

    Progressives are socialists. Socialists are communists. West was probably a little low in his estimation.

    April 13, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
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