A day after the Florida Democratic Party released a video showing Rep. Allen West accusing numerous Congressional Democrats of being members of the Communist Party, the Florida Republican countered on Thursday with his own clip.
West's video is nearly 30 seconds longer but adds little in the way of content. Most of the added time is taken up by audience members murmuring after West states that "about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party that are members of the Communist Party," which was the focus of the original video from the Democrats. After the reaction dies down, West identifies his alleged Communists.
"No, they actually don’t hide it. It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus," he tells the audience.
Both the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Communist Party USA have denied West's accusations. The Congressional Progressive Caucus likened the incident to McCarthyism -- a 1950s witch-hunt for Communists in the U.S. -- in a statement, while Communist Party spokeswoman Libero Della Piano said that the charge was "an absurd way to cast a shadow over his colleagues."
The campaign's version of the event was released because the Democratic video “doesn’t show the Congressman’s full remarks where he clearly identified who he was referring to," according to Tim Edson, West's campaign manager.