Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Fla.'s West Says 81 Colleagues Are Communists, Offers No Proof

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Fla.'s West Says 81 Colleagues Are Communists, Offers No Proof

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Consider this one of the many reasons that Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., won't be the GOP's vice-presidential nominee:

At an event late Tuesday -- shortly after The Washington Post wrote about how Mr. West is too much of a bomb-thrower to be the GOP's vice-presidential choice -- the freshman congressman suggested that as many as 81 Democrats in Congress are not only secret communists, but actual members of the Communist Party.

When a questioner asked Mr. West about Marxists in "the American legislature," some in the crowd jeered, but he took a different approach.

"No, it's a good question," the congressman said, adding: "I believe there [are] about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party." After a long pause, Mr. West added that he was talking about the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a group of 76 more liberal House Democrats as well as a senator.

Mr. West's comment clearly states that these lawmakers are also actual members of the Communist Party. There is no evidence to support that.

West campaign manager Tim Edson pointed out that some Democratic members of Congress have traveled to communist Cuba in recent years (as have Republicans). He also noted that certain Democratic members have also praised Cuban President Fidel Castro. (Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush and former California Rep. Diane Watson, both caucus members, have indeed praised Mr. Castro.)

"He stands by the comments," Mr. Edson said. "Call them what you want; they're clearly people who oppose capitalism and free markets and individual economic freedom. So, if the shoe fits."

Pressed on whether those members are actual communists, Mr. Edson said the label isn't the point. "We can quibble about the terminology used to describe them, but it's clear," he said. "Whatever you call people that oppose capitalism and free markets and individual economic freedom -- maybe it's 'socialist,' maybe it's 'communist' -- but that's the point the congressman was making, and he stands by the words. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.