Rep. Allen West. (Photo credit MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
By DONNA CASSATA, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - A freshman Republican lawmaker says 75-plus House Democrats are members of the Communist Party.
Rep. Allen West of Florida made the comment at a town hall in Jensen Beach, Fla., on Tuesday. A constituent asked how many members of the legislature are "card-carrying Marxists." West said he believes 78 to 81 House Democrats are members of the Communist Party. He provided no names.
In a statement Wednesday, West's office said he was referring to the 76 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The office cited a May 2010 article that appeared in the Communist Party USA pre-convention publication that referred to caucus members as allies. The article, however, carried the disclaimer that the party took no responsibility for the piece's opinions.
The Palm Beach Post first reported the comments.
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