During a Fox July Fourth special featuring Rep. Allen West (R-FL) and political strategist Frank Luntz, an audience member asked the Florida congressman how he expects to heal the America political system when he says divisive and “absurd” things like there are “70 Communists in the House of Representatives.”

(Related: Watch an apparently drunk heckler curse out Allen West on the 4th of July)

“I think one of the things that’s really ruined our politics is rhetoric,” said Aaron, the audience member. “And I think for a congressman to make the accusation that are 70 Communists in the House of Representatives is an absurd statement and it doesn’t really reflect the story you just told.”

Rep. West disagreed.

“But it does reflect the story I just told because it reflects a person that has studied political theory and ideology. I have a Bachelor’s degree and two Master’s degrees in political science, political theory, political ideology. And the thing is you have to be able to understand the two competing principles of philosophies of governance in this country,” Rep. West said.

He continued:

When you go back and you read the documents, the Declaration of Independence, the full declaration, the full Constitution, you’ll understand limited government, you’ll understand fiscal responsibility, you’ll understand individual sovereignty, free markets … strong national defense.

But there are people on the other side, and you can call them whatever you wish, you can call it Communism, Progressivism, Socialism, Marxism, or Statism …They believe in creating and expanding an entitlement or welfare state.

“And you can’t tell me that you’re not seeing that in the United States of America right now,” he added.

Watch Rep. West defend his claim [at the 04:07 mark, via Fox Nation]: