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Florida Rep. Allen West has claimed in the past that he is the “modern day Harriet Tubman,” but his latest wild statement leaves him looking more like Joseph McCarthy.

West made his latest in a long line of controversial comments at a Tuesday afternoon town hall meeting in Palm City. When asked “what percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists?” West answered “I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party.”

Video of West’s claim is below, courtesy of Think Progress:

West did not clarify which congressmen he believed were secret Communists, but his campaign manager Tim Edson defended the Tea Party favorite by claiming that he was referring to the 80 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. In an interview with The Daily Caller, Edson referred to the progressive caucus as “opponents of capitalism” who “oppose individual economic freedom.”

If 80 Democrats are closet commies, it’s news to the Communist Party USA. Libero Della Piana, a vice-chairman of the party, told Politico that West’s accusation is “an absurd way to cast a shadow over his colleagues” and “kind of a sad ploy.”

Ironically, West has complained in the past that he is “very concerned about this very divisive rhetoric” in American politics.

Photo by Mike MacKenzie

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

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