Daniel Doherty

Yesterday, at a town hall meeting in Jensen Beach, Florida, Congressman Allen West (R-FL) fielded questions from a largely Republican audience about issues ranging from food stamps to gas prices. For some bizarre reason, however, one attendee felt compelled to ask him a rather loaded and inflammatory question. As it happens, West’s jarring answer is infuriating liberals nationwide and stirring up controversy. Take a look:

 

Constituent: What percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists or International Socialists?"

West: No, that's a good question. I believe there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party that are members of the Communist Party."

Sure enough, West Spokesman Angela Melvin is already walking back and explaining the Florida Congressman’s comments. The Huffington Post has the scoop:

"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," Melvin said in a statement to The Huffington Post.

West's campaign also sent over the transcript of the actual exchange that took place during the town hall to show that West was asked directly about the role of communists in the House.

Moderator: What percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists or International Socialist?

West: It's a good question. I believe there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party who are members of the Communist Party. It's called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Indeed, Congressman West has come under sharp criticism in recent months for making controversial and provocative statements. In the end, though, I’m sure he’ll weather the storm.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography