allen_west_web_3.jpgWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ A South Florida congressman is being criticized for comparing himself to an abolitionist hero of the Underground Railroad and the Democratic Party to a slavery-era plantation.

Republican Rep. Allen West referred to himself as “a modern-day Harriet Tubman'' in an appearance Wednesday on the “O'Reilly Factor'' and compared Democrats to “a 21st-century plantation.''

The head of the Democratic Party in Florida called the Tubman comparison “outrageous'' and described West as “bizarre'' and “out of touch.''

West stood by his comments in a statement released Thursday, saying “physical enslavement has now become liberal economic enslavement, which is just as horrible'' and that he would stand up for principles to move blacks forward.