Campaign supporter of Rep. Paul BrounIn a predictably confrontational fundraising appeal, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun boasts to potential campaign donors that he was the first on the national scene to finger President Barack Obama as a socialist.

“I was the first Member of Congress to call him a socialist who embraces Marxist-Leninist policies like government control of health care and redistribution of wealth,” Broun said in a letter first obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

While it’s uncertain if Broun was the first national political figure to assail the president as a socialist, it’s clear he was among the earliest to appropriate the barb.

Broun told students at a technical college in 2009 that the president was a member of the nation’s “socialist elite” and tersely said Obama, only minutes after delivering his state of the union address in 2011, did not “believe in the constitution” and instead “believe[s] in socialism.”

In the fundraising letter, Broun also claimed that ex-Rep. Allen West, the Floridian bombast who was narrowly defeated last year, had endorsed his campaign and financially contributed to the effort.

“Good men like Lt. Colonel Allen West have already endorsed and are sending money to my campaign for this U.S. Senate seat and I hope you will join us,” Broun wrote.

West, who was born and educated in Georgia, has made no public endorsement in the as yet one-man primary contest and Broun’s campaign was not immediately able to offer confirmation.

– James Richardson