Rep. Allen West Says Up To 81 House Members Are Communists

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It's not the 1940s or the 1950s, Joe McCarthy is no longer rooting out alleged Soviet-supporters in the Legislature and the country is not entangled in the Cold War, but don't tell Rep. Allen West.

The Florida Republican told a crowd in his home state Tuesday that as many as 81 members of Congress are Communists.

In a clip of the town hall-style event that was posted online Wednesday, an audience member asks, "What percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists?"

"I believe there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party," he said in the video.

After a long pause West, a former Army lieutenant colonel, adds, "They actually don't hide it. It's called the Congressional Progressive Caucus."

The comments soon went virtually viral online and "Allen West" became a trending topic on Twitter for part of the day.

Libero Della Piana, a vice-chairman of the national Communist Party, told Politico that the West' comments were a "sad ploy."

"I just think it's an absurd way to cast a shadow over his colleagues," Della Piana said. "It's just guilt by association taken to an extreme."

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