Rep. Allen West’s remark that up to 80 members of the House are communists was a reference to the membership of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which was founded by a U.S. socialist group, the Democratic Socialists of America.

Some Caucus members still demonstrate a close working relationship with the socialist group.

West’s spokesman, Tim Edson, clarified in a statement today that West was referring to the Congressional Progressive Caucus in his talk with voters last night in Palm City, Fla.

Edson declared that the Florida Republican “stands by his words.”

“But the words the media needs to pay attention to are the words of the members of the Progressive Caucus,” the spokesman said. “They speak for themselves. Call it what you may, but these House members are clearly not proponents of capitalism, free markets or individual economic freedom.”

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