On Thursday’s Starting Point, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien held Florida Republican Congressman Allen West‘s feet to the fire over his allegations that up to 80 members of the House of Representatives were Communists. A visibly uncomfortable West squirmed as O’Brien demanded he start naming names.
“So name names for me,” O’Brien said. “Start naming the 78 to 81…”
“Oh, we don’t have to…” West countered.
“Oh, we do! I’m dying to know,” O’Brien pressed. “Which are the members of the…”
“You can go look up the progressive caucus…” interrupted West.
“I got ’em right here!” O’Brien interjected — and seemingly out of thin air pulled out a list of the members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
“When then you’ve got the names,” West said.
“So Keith Ellison is a communist?” asked O’Brien. “Raúl Grijalva is a communist?”
“Well, look, I’m just talking about the fact that the ideology and principles — you can call it whatever you want…”
“Tammy Baldwin is a communist? Judy Chu is a communist?” O’Brien continued.
“You can call it whatever you want,” West replied.
“Yeah, but I want to know what you’re calling it,” O’Brien said.
“I’m calling it this,” West clarified. “Communist, progressive, Marxist, statist, another term being used. I’m looking at things they believe in. If you don’t think we have to stand upon truth and be able to identify and clearly contrast the different principles and values and ideologies of governance here in this country, then we’re never going to get to the fact of accepting the true debate happening in America. We don’t need a bureaucratic nanny state. We need to stay a Constitutional Republic. I think a lot of people need to study that and understand what it is.”
O’Brien then read a statement from the Vice Chairman of the National Communist Party who said West was wrong for calling his colleagues communists.
“I don’t care what he says,” West said bluntly.
Watch O’Brien and West go tête-à-tête below via CNN:
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com