This just goes to show that there is no such thing as a boring town hall when Republican Congressman Allen West is speaking. At a town hall in Jensen Beach Tuesday covered by TCPalm, a man asked West this question (this is the best we could make out in the video) “what percentage of the American Legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists (something garbled) Socialists?”
West's reply: “That’s a good question. I believe its about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party are members of the Communist Party.”
PolitiFact asked West’s spkeswoman Angela Melvin for an explanation today: “The Congressman was referring to the 76 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The Communist Party has publicly referred to the Progressive Caucus as its allies. The Progressive Caucus speaks for itself. These individuals certainly aren't proponents of free markets or individual economic freedom.”
We read that response to Jennifer Gore, a spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, a Democrat from Minnesota who co-chairs the caucus. Here's a snapshot of what she said: "all of that is false."
We also contacted the Communist Party USA. Vice president Libero Della Piana said that none of the less than 5,000 members are members of Congress.
"Trust me -- if a member of Congress applied to join the Communisty Party we would know about it. It would set up some red flags -- pardon the pun."
PolitiFact will be fact-checking West's claim about how many -- if any -- Democrats in Congress are Communists.