Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) on Thursday maintained that “the strategy, the tactics, the ideology” of Progressive Caucus members in Congress are the same as those of the Communist Party.

“I’m just talking about the fact of the ideologies, the principles you believe in,” he said on CNN, urging others to “stand upon truth” and learn to identify the ideological motivations of members of Congress. “I’m calling it this: communist, progressive, Marxist, socialist, statist.”

Last week, West told a crowd of supporters in his home state that he believes “there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party.” He went on to explain he was talking about the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

CPC Co-chairmen Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) compared West’s remarks to those of former Sen. Joe McCarthy, who “divided Americans with name-calling and modern-day witch hunts that don’t advance policies to benefit people’s lives.” McCarthy was censured by the Senate for the tactics he used in his attempt to root out Soviet spies and sympathizers during the Cold War.

West has not backed off the comment. “I’m not going to back down. I’m not going to be afraid about the fact that I called a spade a spade,” he said Tuesday.

Read More at The Hill. By Alicia M. Cohn.

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