West aims to raise money off 'communist' comments
April 13th, 2012
12:17 PM ET
10 years ago

West aims to raise money off 'communist' comments

(CNN) - Standing by his controversial remarks this week targeting certain members of Congress as communists, Republican Rep. Allen West of Florida called on supporters Friday to donate toward his fight against "extreme left-wing positions."

West faced criticism after he described the Congressional Progressive Caucus as a group filled with members of the Communist Party on Tuesday.

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His remarks quickly set off a firestorm, as the caucus and the Communist Party both hit back calling the statements "ridiculous" and reminiscent of McCarthyism.

Arguing the media has gone "completely nuts" over his statements, West urged supporters to help him fight back.

"In response to a question about Marxists in Congress, I called out the Congressional Progressive Caucus for their extreme left-wing positions," the email stated. "I stand by the point of my comments and I need you to stand with me today by making a contribution of $10 or more."

In his plea, West added: "We're in the fight for the heart and soul of our nation."

He reiterated his position about the Progressive Caucus, saying it "advocates for state control over industries, redistribution of wealth, reduced individual economic freedom, and the destruction of free markets."

Established in 1991, the group is the largest House caucus within the House Democratic Caucus and is chaired by Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona and Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota. It bills itself as an advocate for a "strong, progressive agenda" with a "fundamental belief in government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

West's original remarks came amid calls for him to be selected as the GOP vice presidential nominee by a number of high-profile Republicans, including Sarah Palin, Herman Cain and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

"(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," West said last week on CNN.

Romney, however, has said he has not created any list for possible running mates.

- CNN's Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

Also see:

Obama ahead in New Jersey, even with Christie on ticket

Florida Rep labels congressional Democrats as Communists

Barbour won't formally endorse Romney, but offers advice

Filed under: 2012 • Allen West • Congress
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. drew

    Sad to say this is my congressman. Amazing that they think he's qualified to be VP when he's a 1 term congressman who won his district by 2 percentage points and is scared to death he will lose it in november. Not to mention he says something really loony and politically toxic about once a week. It really bothers me when republicans keep floating his and Marco Rubio's names around. They've been in Congress not long enough to even become familiar with their position. They're not particularly good speakers or influential members of Congress (especially not West) and they're being considered for VP? If this isn't blatant "we need a minority on the ticket" i dont know what is.

    April 13, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Emmy Skaddittle

    only in gods waiting room, can a black man play on the fears of old white people

    April 13, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. Tom

    So, when a CNN pundit makes a misplaced comment it's outrageous and Obama is responsible for it, but when an actual House Republican makes an even more outrageous comment he is celebrated and uses it to raise money.

    Alrighty then.

    April 13, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. V in Chicago

    Where is the outrage from the Right on this one? Hypocrites!!

    April 13, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. Grundoon

    Please, oh, please oh, please pick him for VP. Pretty, pretty, pretty please!!!

    April 13, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. cee jay

    please post the name of the candidate/individual running against this CLOWN. I dont live in fla but want to donate. He is dangerous.........

    April 13, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. V in Chicago

    @ The Shepherd – I think "The Sheep" would be more appropriate if you stand behind this man and plan to give him money. Tell you what, take your $10 burn it. It will do more good as ashed than to support this treasonous idiot!

    April 13, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. NVa Native

    typical sleazy GOP tactics that appeal to typical sleazy followers.

    April 13, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    What an opportunistic Teatard.

    April 13, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. ToldUSo

    Why is it that the warm states I'd thought about retiring to (AZ, TX and FL) keep electing wackos?

    April 13, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Hey, people. Do a web search for this. " Imperial Capitalism " Conservatives calling liberals communists is actually them projecting their own faults onto liberals.

    April 13, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. NVa Native

    And with all the GOP lies and sleazy demonizing – I think I'd be more inclined to trust a communist before I'd think about trusting a Repub.

    April 13, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. Randy Oftedahl

    It is rather ironic that West thinks he is Joseph McCarthy because if he had lived in the 1950's, he would have been lynched by his GOP pals, wouldn't he?

    April 13, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. 1twinsfan

    Ah yes, the old "I'm a fool so send me money" pitch.

    April 13, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. the Situation

    Sorry, this guy is living proof of the Tea Party and their favorite son's; All foolish, moronic, idiots!

    April 13, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Keef

    Says a lot about our military that this clown rose to the rank of colonel. The military may have redeemed itself (of an incredible embarrassment) when he was "encouraged to end" his military career, however. What a jerk.

    April 13, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. NonSuch

    As an independent voter, I said it before and I will say it again. Mitt, you are wasting your money and anyone who give money to your campaign. Your campaign is suffering from guilt by association. Where was your condemnation of Rep. West's comments? They were far more damaging than the comments made by the commentator on CNN about your wife (which by the way, you started anyhow). I am still waiting for you to condemn Rush about his comments on the college student. This is the problem Mitt; you can't have it both ways. You can't pander to the nut jobs in your party and expect to get the independent (read moderate republican and conservative democrat) vote. It just isn't going to happen.

    I am not that thrilled with Obama but I cannot vote for someone who does not have the guts to stand up to the goofballs of his own party whether they be democrat or republican. At least Obama condemned the CNN commentator (although I think she didn't deserve it). When are you going to start doing the same, Mitt?

    April 13, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    He reiterated his position about the Progressive Caucus, saying it "advocates for state control over industries, redistribution of wealth, reduced individual economic freedom, and the destruction of free markets."
    First of all, all that rhetoric is pure projection and false talking points to make you take your eye off the ball. Conservatives have pushed for corporate control of our state, which from the little guy's perspective is no diferent from state control over industries. Conservative tax policies have been a war on the middle class, which is shrinking faster and faster due stagnate incomes being overrun by the poverty level. What on earth is :economic freedom" anyway? What isn't a Republican adminsitration that oversaw the closing of 50,000 manufacturing plants and a reduction of our manufacturing job base from 19 million down to 10 million over the past decade?

    April 13, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  19. Ferret Out The BS

    Pronunciation: /ˈfaʃɪz(ə)m, -sɪz(ə)m/ noun [mass noun]
    • an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
    • (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practices

    Using a definition from the Oxford dictionary, Fascist describes the majority of GOP members today. So now most of the country behaves and believes in fascism which was the party that put Adolf Hitler in charge and tried to take over the world by force leading to WWII. Are they trying it again through the guise of the GOP?

    April 13, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    once upon a horse

    the GOP was quick to pounce on remarks made by Rosen even after several Dems also did not condone them, but here when West makes such an accusation without proof you hear CRICKETS!!
    That's because Democrats took their eyes off the ball and stuck out their chins for the Rosen Remark sucker punch. Democrats spent an entire news cycle on that lose-lose discussion and totally ignored the West. Republicans played the indignation card masterfully by adding something to the story every 2-3 hours. Heck, Romney junior even made a video.

    April 13, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. jack johnson

    Why dosen't he name names? If he says even one name he could be held for slander. So he just does what MOST repubs. do MAKE STUFF UP.(fredom of speach even if it is lies.

    April 13, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. vic , nashville ,tn

    Call “liar” raise campaign fund out that
    Call “communist” raise campaign fund out that
    Are we really living in United States of America?

    April 13, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Go ahed Mittens, make him your VP running mate, it'll be "Game Change Redux".

    April 13, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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