Tea Party darling Rep. Allen West (R-FL) on Thursday defended conservative rocker Ted Nugent after he got the Secret Service's attention by saying that members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) should defeat President Barack Obama and other Democrats and "chop their heads off in November."
During an interview on Thursday, CNN's Soledad O'Brien asked West if Nugent was "threatening violence" when he said that "I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year" if Obama is re-elected.
"I think he was just expressing maybe his opinion about something," West shrugged. "Of course, everyone wants to sensationalize things but let's leave it up to the Secret Service to interview him and get to the bottom of it."
"But I don't think the Motor City Madman has any ill will towards the president of the United States of America," he added.
"I think he's got a lot of ill will toward him," O'Brien laughed. "No, I don't think he likes him at all. I'd say a ton of ill will."
"Well, there's a lot of people that didn't like President Bush and we didn't have to cart them in front of the Secret Service," West quipped.
O'Brien went on to press West on his assertion that as many as 81 Democrats in the House of Representatives were secretly members of the Communist Party.
"I talked about the Congressional Progressive Caucus," West explained. "I've had to give quite a few people a tutorial about the political spectrum of ideology and there's a thin separation [between communism and progressivism]. And at the turn of the century here in the United States of America, American Communists renamed themselves Progressive, but the strategy and the tactics and the ideology still remains the same."
"Start naming the 78 to 81," O'Brien inquired.
"We don't have to," West said.
"We do," O'Brien insisted.
"You can go look at the Congressional Progressive Caucus," West replied. "Then you've got the names."
"[Minnesota Rep.] Keith Ellison is a Communist?" O'Brien wondered. "[Wisconsin Rep.] Tammy Baldwin is a Communist? [California Rep.] Judy Chu is a Communist?"
"You can call it whatever you want," West answered. "I'm calling it this: Communist, progressive, Marxist, socialist, statist -- which is another term that's been used. I'm looking at the ideologies. I'm looking at the things they believe in, and if you don't think that we have to stand upon truth and be able to identify and clearly contrast the different principles and values and ideologies and principles of governance here in this country then we're never going to get to the fact of accepting the true debate that's happening in America. We don't need a bureaucratic nanny state."
"We'll see if your colleagues like being called Communists," O'Brien conconcluded.