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. Talmonis

    I truly hope that some day, Republicans get their imaginary boogeyman. In force.

    April 12, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  2. prescientific

    Did he get his Bachelor of Scatology from the National Institute?

    April 12, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |

    How crazy and deranged is the republican party going to allow it's members to go??

    April 12, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |

    Rep. West actions speak for themselves. He's a dispicable person. After the verbal assault he labeled against Debbie, I lost the little bit of respect I had for him, not that I had any for him to begin with. When republicans are losing political points, they begin name calling. So childish of them.

    April 12, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  5. maf5454

    News flash, repesentative Allen West is channeling Joe McCarthy, break out the tin foil hats!

    April 12, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  6. JD in Moraga, CA

    Labeling Congressional Democrats "Communists" is no more shocking than labeling Congressional Republicans "Fascists."

    April 12, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  7. Deployed Again

    No comments yet? All silent on this blog lol... I cant even believe the MSM ran this article... Yes, card communists are in our government on the left. Not a few of them. The majority. Finally someone who has a louder voice than that of the people of the United States is speaking. In the 50's my grand parents would have already started rioting. These filthy trash have ruined more economies, destroyed countries and murdered more people than AIDS and Hilter combined and the number grows leaps and bounds everyday. Communism is a disease. Think I am crazy? Look it up sheep

    April 12, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  8. ST

    What about Allen West being a communist himself? I suspect this man might be sick in his head!

    April 12, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  9. Stephen

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    April 12, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  10. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    And there are Fascists in congress that Mussolini would be very proud of too like mr. west; a man that allows for the corporate control of our government.

    April 12, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  11. Get a job Hippies

    Amen Colonel! If there is a Progressive Caucus then yeah duh they believe in socialist ideas. Col. Alan West for President!!!

    April 12, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  12. Deployed Again

    Finally, just in case no one can remember or it just escapes them, Communists ALWAYS have a secret agenda...

    April 12, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  13. Donkey Party

    Enjoy your one term, you disgrace to society.

    April 12, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  14. chill485

    Somebody just thaw this guy out after a 30 year nap or something? This is the childish name calling we don't need from our so-called leaders. Florida should be ashamed.

    April 12, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  15. Jerubbaal

    The new McCarthy era has arised. First the TP and their hypocrisy. now this nonsense. They will do anything to regain power, how sad.

    April 12, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  16. Rick 7809

    This guy has really listened to too much talk radio.

    April 12, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  17. joe smith

    he may have something..how can 535 elected officials continue to spend money that is NOT theirs, allow the GSA to openly steal taxpayers money, do everthing to undercut American business to the point that there is no large scale manufacturing in the US anymore, ( that means no jobs as well ), maybe there is a hidden agenda somewhere, anythings possible..

    April 12, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  18. Voiceinthewind

    The kettle calling the tepot black. If thieves and greedy rooks is another name for Communist then Con-Gress is full of Communists. There are a few honest ons but not to many and not enough that is for sure. The Two party system does not work and Capitalism is in Doubt when the top 1% control Con-Gress and the Money.

    April 12, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  19. smell the coffee

    I hope he isn't wasting his time hanging by the phone.

    April 12, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  20. Anonymous

    I doubt that any of the congress critters he refers to are actual card carrying communists or Marxists but I do believe that many of them have the same aims. Income redistribution, taking money from those who work and giving it to those who don't, is certainly a Marxist concept. Those who believe in the destruction of the capitalist system and the free market will undoubtedly go after congressman West with a full tilt name calling campaign but what he said has a lot of merit.

    April 12, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  21. Roger

    Just another conervative nut case that has done nothing to remedy the real problems at hand in Florida. Their is no worth when one just ponts fingers at others with out nothing to back their comments. Show proof or shut up and get to work John Iselin!

    April 12, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  22. Keith

    I doubt that any of the congress critters are actually card carrying communists or Marxists but I believe many of them have the same aims. Income redistribution, taking money from those who work and giving it to those who don't is certainly a Marxist concept. Those who believe in the destruction of the capitalist, free market system will undoubtedly go after Congressman West with a name calling campaign but there is a lot of merit in what he says.

    April 12, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  23. Cody

    Is this guy okay with us calling him a fascist? I mean, it's only fair– and equally as valid.

    April 12, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  24. PulTab

    Thankfully, the end of the primaries, doesn't mean the end of the gopper clown show!

    April 12, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  25. setnommarih

    This was learned behavior from Obama

    April 12, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
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