WASHINGTON -- Republican Rep. Allen West said he believes 75-plus House Democrats are members of the Communist Party, a claim that echoed Joe McCarthy's unsubstantiated 1950s charges that communists had infiltrated the top ranks of the U.S. government.
Addressing a town-hall meeting Tuesday in Florida, the freshman lawmaker was asked how many members of the American legislature are "card-carrying Marxists.'' West said "there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party.'' He did not provide names.
West's office said Wednesday that the congressman stood by the comments and was referring to the 76 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest group within the House Democratic caucus.