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. Lainie11

    Representative West just articulates what we all know to be true; just follow the policies and ideas that the Democrats push. And they are extremely vocal about their Communist philosophies. And we all know by now that the Communist Party is supporting Obama for President which should be a warning to all freedom loving Americans to vote him out in November. In the 50's McCarthy was taken very seriously by those who have done their homework. No longer are the Communists under any beds but they do mingle among us everywhere and are prominent, e.g. Jane Fonda. People/entertainers must quit holding this anti-American spirit as something to relish. Wake up people before it's too late.

    April 12, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  2. roadwarrior

    if the shoe fits where it the american people are going to take this country back in november and nothing going to stop it

    April 12, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  3. Buck

    The democrats are state-capitalist, bourgeois liberals. The republicans are state-capitalist, bourgeois conservatives. It's idiotic to think either party serves the interests of the working class.

    April 12, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  4. keithj

    The Democrats must be enjoying this guy's loose cannon commentary immensely. Between his off-the-wall observations and Mr. Romney's lack of a GOP base, the Republican's are looking silly.

    April 12, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  5. 94fxsts

    He better be careful......the Martians are watching!

    April 12, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  6. Papasmurf

    If he was only a bit more outrageous, divisive, polarizing, ignorant, disrespectful, extreme and inexperienced, he would be a serious alternative contender for the Republican presidential nomination that most Americans would happily follow to their ruin.

    April 12, 2012 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  7. Sid Prejean

    This guy is a nut. One hopes that the saner portions of his home district see that and return him to private lunacy.
    Lucky for him, mental health treatment is covered by TRICARE.

    Sid Prejean
    LtCol, USAF, Retired

    April 12, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  8. Jebbb

    Allen West is clearly a card carrying member of the Nutcase Party. No more tea for you! Zookeeper, get the net.

    April 12, 2012 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  9. jblah

    people should first define the term communist prior to calling someone a communist. some report should go up to him and ask him to define it and then explain why the democrat would fit that definition. its too bad Mike Wallace passed away. i miss his style of reporting.

    April 12, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  10. Brian

    Yeah, notice how they did not refute what Col. West said and just deflected the accusations as McCarthyism. Well guess freakin what???? Sen McCarthy was right in his accusations against Hollyweird and the commies that occupied/still occupy it today. I have no doubt that there are social radicals of Marxist persuasion within the halls of congress that wish to transform this country into another socialist shthole that has proven to be a failure.

    April 12, 2012 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  11. SensibleJoe

    Mr. West, "Red Scare" tactics are so 60 years ago and don't really work if you don't have the Soviet Union as a bogeyman anymore. Besides, the only collusion with communism in the United States government recently was on the part of the George W. Bush administration and its neocon supports, who put America in hock to Red China for millions of dollars to finance their military misadventure in Iraq instead of levy taxes at home. So how does it feel, Mr. West, belonging to the GOP - the one party that really colluded with communists abroad nowadays, to the bankrupting of the USA financially and morally?

    April 12, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  12. JeffofPEoria

    WOW – I Like this guy. I did some research on this a couple of years ago. (When I had zero to do) and there are 4 that have SOCIALISTS listed on their website. One from CHicago and the other is a Senator from Vermont. He runs as an Independent. Gives Independents a bad name. He could run as a Democrat now because I'm sure thye've caught up w/ him.

    April 12, 2012 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  13. stephen

    He's great. I love this guy! He calls it as he sees it and exposes the LEFT as to whom they really are. I met he and his wife last year and they're both wonderful people and VERY REALISTIC.

    April 12, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  14. cisco4

    This guy dreams up stuff.. to get attention.. a new baby McCarthy... back in the days when you looked under your bed for communists.. and shady women..Maybe the voters will get him out in the election.. whats he doing for you all in Florida? Nothing..

    April 12, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    What proof does he have when it comes to the "card carring" part of his charge? How does that matter here since it isn't illegal? This sounds like the husband in the original Manchurian Candidate movie where he kept coming up with different numbers of communists in the military. In terms of wealth distribution, it isn't happening on its own and hurting the society because there are poor people who are hurting badly. As for the idea that the state will be taking over industry, it has been done here before and then it went back to private ownership. Those that worked with Obama on the bail out for the auto industry didn't want the jobs to disappear here in the US because that would have hurt the economy so much more than providing the capital for reoganization.

    April 12, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  16. Jack V

    Has West ever had a job that wasn't one where his paycheck came from the US taxpayers?

    April 12, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  17. cisco4

    This congressperson probably knows a lot about the KGB.. Whats he up to?

    April 12, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  18. Doug

    78 to 81 is probably an accurate number, but it refers to Allen West's IQ, not the number Democrats in Congress who are card carrying members of the Communist Party.

    April 12, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  19. Trevor

    I love that phrase "redistribution of wealth", republicans try very hard to make sounds as if the rich paying taxes is some form of socialism. When the middle class pay, its par for the course, but ask a republican to pay even close to my tax percentage and then it becomes the "redistribution of wealth". The republican party could not be any more openly corrupt if they tried.

    April 12, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  20. Keith

    It's sad to see the feeble minds of the republican party being preyed on by the scare tactics of their leaders. Beware America, or the Kaiser will get you!

    April 12, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  21. David McFarland

    This is from the simple minded person who complained about the high price of gas when filling his hummer. The news media should completely ignore him, he is anoter Steve King of the changing light bulb fame.

    April 12, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  22. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds

    If West wants to see what "vile" and "despicable" mean, he should look at his own GOBP cult and then in a mirror. These cultists are linguistic terrorists, destroying language and removing meaning from words. Progressive, communist and socialist are not all the same words. You wouldn't know it the way the GOBP abuses language, though.

    April 12, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  23. joe

    The Democratic Party has been ambushed by Socialistic Progressives who hide behind the word Democrat. They call themselves Democratic Progressives which is a lie. They are communists hiding inside the Democratic Party taking away our civil liberties through health care and the EPA. Allen is right on this one.

    April 12, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  24. JimfromBham

    A possible VP nominee? Not if the Republicans hope to have a chance....

    April 12, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  25. Peter

    ""I believe there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party."

    Wow. Every time I turn around, we seem to be turning the clock back to the 1950s in this country.

    What next? The republication of "Red Channels"?

    April 12, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 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