NPR : News

House Republican Allen West: '78 to 81' Congressional Democrats Are Communists

Never one to shrink from controversy, Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., says he believes scores of his Democratic House colleagues are members of the Communist Party.

At a town hall meeting Tuesday in Palm City, Fla., the Tea Party-backed freshman was asked by a man in the audience: "What percentage of the American legislature do you think are card carrying Marxists or neo-Castro Socialists?"

West responded that he believed "there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party that are members of the Communist Party."

When asked to name them, he declined.

In fact, there appears to be no record of any member of the House, whether Democratic or Republican, belonging to the Communist Party. The Progressive Caucus, a group of liberal Democrats, has 75 members from the House and one from the Senate, Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, the only member of Congress who considers himself a socialist.

West has gained a certain reputation during his 16 months in Congress for making bombastic statements. He compared President Obama to a Third World dictator, claimed that Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels would be "very proud" of the Democratic Party, and publicly called a member of Florida's congressional delegation, Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz, "the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the U.S. House of Representatives."

In 1950, another newly elected Republican member of Congress claimed there were 205 known Communists who worked at the State Department. Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin never proved that charge but quickly gained notoriety. The accusations prompted a formal Senate censure of McCarthy in 1954.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

The Role Of Music In Presidential Campaigns

Presidential candidates today frequently use popular pieces of music as campaign "theme songs"...often without approval from the musicians themselves. But using music on the campaign trail is not a modern phenomenon: it goes back to our earliest presidential elections. In the 1800s songs were used out of necessity: to reach potential voters who could not read. We investigate the history, evolution, and modern-day role of music in political campaigns.

NPR

From Dock To Dish: A New Model Connects Chefs To Local Fishermen

Prominent chefs are signing up for restaurant-supported fisheries: They commit to buying fresh-caught seafood, whatever the species, from local small fishermen. A pilot program launched in California.

WAMU 88.5

The Role Of Music In Presidential Campaigns

Presidential candidates today frequently use popular pieces of music as campaign "theme songs"...often without approval from the musicians themselves. But using music on the campaign trail is not a modern phenomenon: it goes back to our earliest presidential elections. In the 1800s songs were used out of necessity: to reach potential voters who could not read. We investigate the history, evolution, and modern-day role of music in political campaigns.

NPR

Yahoo CEO To Take Limited Leave After Giving Birth To Twins

NPR's Rachel Martin talks with Slate DoubleX Gabfest's Hanna Rosin about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to take just two weeks worth of parental leave after having twins in December.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.