West aims to raise money off 'communist' comments
April 13th, 2012
12:17 PM ET
9 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. Joi Gibson

    OMG!!! Between him and Governor Lurch it's no wonder folks think we in Florida have had our brains baked in the sun. I certainly hope all that changes in November.


    April 13, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. Jack

    No doubt who the biggest POS in DC is. Stay classy, GOP.

    April 13, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. kat

    I agree with West, we must get these liberal loons out of Washington.

    April 13, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  4. Jess C

    Anyone tossing money to lying hysterical trolls like this are equally crazy. What's wrong with people who'd fall for this type of scam? Omg!

    April 13, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. 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!! Just think of the uproar if a Democratic congressperson had accused 70 or 80 GOP members of being Nazis or KKK members. And yes with the warped view his partyy has hw WILL make money off of it.

    April 13, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. rs

    West is clearly a crackpot.

    April 13, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    Arguing the media has gone "completely nuts" over his statements, West urged supporters to help him fight back.
    He's not stupid. The Republican Party has successfully drowned out this story in the media with the Ann Romney remark by Rosen. The major networks have given little air time to the Weat story, opting instead for extended coverage of the back and forth over the remarks. Democrats played right into Republican hands, as usual. It was a Republican win-win. Ignore it, and the Republicans win. Fight it, and the Republicans win again. Solution, change the subject.

    We have noticed that not one Republican has spoken against Mr. West, which can only mean they give him their tacit support. We noticed he has double down on disgraceful conduct is now stumping for donations.

    April 13, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    Please send me yo money. I only make 174,000 denigrating them boys in the dem party.

    April 13, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. SSReaney

    Maybe before you imply that it isn't true that there are socialist/communist in the two houses of government, you might watch Lawrence O'Donald's recent interview with the Senate Leader, Senator Harry Reid, where he admits that it is true!

    April 13, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. two and out for GOP

    I am sorry but it says a lot about his supports, if he gets one dime from any of them. LOL

    April 13, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. anagram_kid

    Another example of why we need a complete over-hall of campaign finance reform. Every candidate should get the exact amount of money and should publicly have to account for every single penny. No more PACs, gifts and/or kickbacks. Get money and religion out of politics and start hiring (electing) people who are true professional decision makers!

    April 13, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. Lisa

    This Clown should contact North Korea where he can be VP

    April 13, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    He was "escorted" out of his military service because of his childish mouth. Some folks just can't learn from their mistakes.

    April 13, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. Ron

    Let's see. I don't think I've heard Governor Haley or Palin or any other Republican take West to task for this preposterous statement. Every day I wonder when the bottom has been reached in the political discourse. Almost daily a new low is reached.

    April 13, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  15. Peter

    A Marxist is a communist, but a communist isn't necessarily a Marxist.

    But....what the hell! It is popular to throw scare words around for the dumb lemmings. It does not matter if the words mean anything, right? They don't know the difference.

    April 13, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. keegan bushey

    And...where would this money be going?

    Kind of like the palin pac where none of the money went to anyone or any campaign. Waste.

    April 13, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. jonathan

    So where will all this money be going to anyway? To fight Communism in his bank account?

    April 13, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. The Shepard

    Finally a TRUTH TELLER! No doubt he will be getting $10 from me.

    April 13, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. Sandy

    So he purposely made these insane comments just so he can raise money off of it. What a classless person!

    April 13, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. MTATL67

    West is nothing but a Tea Party opportunist....worst kind of politician.

    April 13, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. American

    A clear difference:

    1. CNN commentator makes a wrong statement, and it gets immediately admonished by both sides, even from the same party.

    2. West makes a reprehensible statement unbecoming of a public office, and he gets no condemnation from his own party, but rather talks of Romney's VP & fundraising from followers.

    Disgusting doublestandard.

    April 13, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. Silly Baggers!

    So now the motive comes out for his outlandish comments. He wasted no time to stick his hand out. This guy is has been a joke and is still one.

    April 13, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. Greyman

    Between this and their anti-contraception stance, it's argue for the GOP to argue that their mentality is not rooted in the 1950s.

    April 13, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. V in Chicago

    This guy is a prime example of what is wrong with politics. He makes outrageous claims that are outright lies and then expects to raise money off of people's ignorance. This is sick! Mr. West should be reprimanded by House. His statements are not only lies, but also borderline treason!

    April 13, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. Woman In California

    Does America REALLY want these crazy people in charge?

    April 13, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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