Allen West not only refused to back away from comments he made last week in which referred to “78 to 81” members of the Democratic Party as members of the Communist Party. West is also attempting to fundraise off the comments. “What a week,” Allen wrote in a letter to supporters. “My observation about the political ideology of the “left” apparently generated such an extreme response, it indicated a direct hit.” In a subsequent email to supporters, he said he stood by his comments last week and wrote, “I need you to stand with me today by making a contribution of $10 or more.”
In the letter to supporters and when speaking at the Conversations with Conservatives press event in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, West refused to back down but attempted to clarify his beliefs.
“No, I don’t regret it whatsoever,” West said in video captured by the conservative website The Shark Tank. “And I think that if you would take the time to study the political spectrum of ideologies, you’d understand that at the turn of the century, American Communists renamed themselves as progressives. If you study the Woodrow Wilson administration, people referred to the Woodrow Wilson administration as a progressive administration.”
West goes on to say that everyone should do some “research” of political history and the different ideologies that run with each party.
It should be noted that a lot of actual Communists did not particularly like Wilson.
“It’s about nationalizing production. It’s about creating and expanding the welfare state. It’s about this idea of social and economic justice. And you hear that being played out — you know, now with fairness, fair share, economic equality, shared sacrifice, ad nauseum,” West said.
The campaign of Patrick Murphy, West’s challenger in the election for a seat in Florida’s 18th District, has responded by launching an online petition hoping to pressure West into apologizing. The campaign said today that it has more than 10,000 signatures thus far.
“West not only gets history wrong, he completely gets the mood of the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast wrong,” Murphy said today. “It is obvious that Congressman West has no interest in working to get things done for the people he represents. Name-calling and insulting his political opponents are apparently his only interpretations of leadership.”
West’s charge last week was that the members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus were actually members of the Communist Party, because the Communist Party has referred to the CPC as an “ally” before. Pretty much everyone, from Murphy to the CPC to the Communist Party itself, refuted this idea.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.