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Rep. Allen West: Democratic Group Is Communist


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Rep. Allen West: Democratic group is Communist

By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

Updated 3m ago



By Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images

Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., had initially declined to name names when he said "he's heard" that up to 80 House Democrats are members of the Communist Party.

Now, his office says West was referring to the Congressional Progressive Caucus when the freshman Tea Party favorite made his remark at a
Tuesday night.

Here's the West
, sent to the CBS affiliate in Miami:

The Congressman was referring to the 76 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The Communist Party has publicly referred to the Progressive Caucus as its allies. The Progressive Caucus speaks for itself. These individuals certainly aren't proponents of free markets or individual economic freedom.

We called Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., a co-chairman of the progressive caucus, for a response. The Florida Democratic Party sent out an e-mail with a round up of clips about the West remark.

"With his claim that nearly half of the Democrats in Congress are members of the Communist Party, West seems to be competing with Sarah Palin in the 'going rogue' department," the Florida Democrats said.

West has caused a stir since his 2010 election with some of his remarks. The black Republican once referred to himself as a
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2011/08/allen-west-plantation-blacks-maxine-waters-barack-obama-/1#.T4W1HVFYvZc' rel="external nofollow">
trying to lead black voters away from a "plantation," his word for the Democratic Party.

And he got into a high-profile spat with Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, his colleague from Florida, when he called her "the most vile, unprofessional and despicable" House member.

West's Democratic opponent, Patrick Murphy, said the Republican's original comment about the Communist Party was an attempt at "21st century McCarthyism" that proved "his complete lack of seriousness and responsibility."
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