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."

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. jim

    For a black guy, he sure has a short memory. black conservative is an oxymoron. conservatives wanted to PRESERVE Jim Crow. Conservatives wanted to PRESERVE slavery. The entire definition of "conservativism" is rooted in "conserving" that which is... maybe we should turn the clock back to a simple time when "Ike" (a good conservative) was president and Mr. West had sit in the colored section of the bus, use the colored restrooms, and drink from the colored water fountain. Oh, and pay a poll tax to vote. And his "christianity" came to his people at the end of a whip.

    April 12, 2012 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  2. Working American

    He's absolutely correct. Liberals believe they need to give my hardearned money to the nappers and bloggers all day complaining about not receiving enough of my tax money. Enough is enough. Get your lazy butt and work. And NO I am not talking about the disabled or the elderly. I'm talking about those who are simply taking advantage of government programs.

    April 12, 2012 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  3. jimatmadison

    There was a time when being completely nuts would mean you'd lose your congressional seat.

    Now they just call you a Tea Partier.

    April 12, 2012 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  4. fromghost

    Reblogged this on Every Question Has an Answer and commented:
    I am vote Democrat and I know that they are truly not Marxists. However, I would not see anything wrong if there were some more communist-friendly ideas in America. Many of the Democrats have lost their idealism on how to utilize government services for the benefit of the people. I would prefer to vote not Democrat, but it is the best and most likely choice on the ballot to receive the least painful results for me. I would be pleased if there was a candiate on the general election ballot with a very Scandinavian way at looking at how the government and economy should be ran.

    -fromghost [3:42 AM US EST

    April 12, 2012 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  5. mark

    This dim bulb just falls into one mess after another trying to appease the far right. Communists now? really? Does this look like 1950????

    April 12, 2012 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
  6. mbjrp36

    Hard to believe this man wore a uniform. He cannot open his mouth without lying.

    April 12, 2012 04:03 am at 4:03 am |
  7. Look up the word root COMM

    The Tea partiers take the debt ceiling hostage and their one demand is to...............boil the full power of Congress down to a COMMittee........A move toward dictatorship....Look up the root of the word COMMunism and COMMittee.....Who in congress is doing the COMMunist shuffle.......The GOP......

    April 12, 2012 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  8. JamesKlimaski

    It is going to be an interesting election campaign with people like West trying to grab headlines with more and more outrageous statements. He wouldn't be able to recognize a Marxist if one was staring him in the face. Most likely he has never even read anything Marx wrote. If anyone deserves the term "vile", it is Mr. West. We will see how low he goes as the year gets on.

    April 12, 2012 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  9. LEK

    Rep. Allen West and Herman Cain are the "anti-Obama". Wait for it-wait for it! (smile, you got it) These two public figures are an embarrassment and will say and do anything to get attention. These two "poster children" of the "right-now" should go sit down. They are puppets and are being used by the right to project an image that has long since died and put out to pasture. At best, they are a punch-line and a joke that the "people" in the back room are laughing their buns off.

    April 12, 2012 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
  10. Orwell seen it before

    Allen help, their are not 80 criminal democrat communists, there are 80 billion maggots in Our America. Help

    April 12, 2012 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
  11. Eric of Reseda

    The GOP ris ripping this country apart, exploiting the fears and ignorance of uneducated, frightened Americans. They did it n the 50's, they're doing it now.

    April 12, 2012 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
  12. Russ

    This Florida Congressman is obviously not too bright.

    April 12, 2012 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  13. Joe

    If this guy is the VP nominee I will eat my shoe.

    April 12, 2012 05:35 am at 5:35 am |
  14. michael

    Is this the next Michele Bachman ?

    April 12, 2012 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  15. Sral Rolyat

    A congressman demonstrating complete ignorance of basic economic theories and principles and leveraging his lack of knowledge as a basis for attacking politcal opponents. Nothing newsworthy to report.

    April 12, 2012 06:09 am at 6:09 am |

    Unhinged loose cannon. Snooki Palin's VP choice. Out of touch with reality like Mitt McCain who thinks that Russia is still our number one enemy. He's perfect for the GOBP. Obama/Biden 2012!

    April 12, 2012 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  17. Realitybites

    This guy is completely out of control.

    April 12, 2012 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  18. JustSaying2U

    West was suggested as a possible GOP vice presidential nominee last week by the party's most recent nominee, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
    I got to give Palin credit: It took real search to find someone even less qualified than her to be the VP nominee.

    April 12, 2012 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  19. Lee Presley

    THE MACARTHY YEARS HAVE JUST STARTED AGAIN WITH OBAMAS "NEW FOCUS ON CHINA". Expect to see a flood of anti china and anti russian media storys comming your way as from today. The commies are about to find out again how it is to be a muslim in america today. LET THE GAMES BEGIN!.

    April 12, 2012 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  20. Marie MD

    I thought we were over and done with this guy and his problems just a few months ago.
    Democrats = communists. Are teapublikans really this stupid? Is it in the genes?
    The ones trying to control women's reproductive rights, gay rights, minorities rights are the teapublikan taliban. I don't recall any Democratic politician telling us what we need to do with our bodies or in our bedrooms or spew hate and shouts of kill him at political rallies and lie because a lot of people don't bother to look at the real facts. As a matter of fact, if that was trued this clown would be the first to land in jail and "disappear".

    April 12, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  21. jay

    well Allen west is right and it starts with the president being part communist and muslim then works its way through the government

    April 12, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  22. Courtney

    Allen West has lost his mind. He is one of the most unrational human beings in Congress. It is sad that he always resorts to personal attacks against the Democrats and all of them are lies. I do not consider him to be relevant in any way. Every time he speaks, the Republicans look bad.

    April 12, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  23. Jeff

    I guess we no longer have any interest at all in civil discourse.......

    April 12, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  24. tangledthorns

    Most Democrats believe in communism, in theory.

    April 12, 2012 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  25. Jt_flyer

    There goes that GOP vacuum again. Palin would made a great vice president? You'll never get anyone with the slightest bit of intelligence to vote for Palin. But the GOP doesn't care about that.

    April 12, 2012 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37