Wasserman Schultz, West let the fur fly
July 19th, 2011
09:42 PM ET
7 years ago

Wasserman Schultz, West let the fur fly

Washington (CNN)-The debt debate got ugly over the internet between two Florida representatives on either side of the House aisle. Freshman Congressman Allen West ripped into Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz over e-mail following her comments on the House floor Tuesday.

Calling the Democratic National Committee Chair the "most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member" of the House, West said, "Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige."

CNN obtained a copy of the e-mail from a congressional source.

Wasserman Schultz offended the tea party favorite by directly disparaging his support of the "Cut, Cap and Balance" bill that went on to pass the House of Representatives late Tuesday-after he left the floor.

"Incredulously, the gentleman from Florida. who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries," she said, calling West's approval of the plan "unbelievable from a member from South Florida."

West fired back in his message, challenging the four-term Democrat.

"If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!" he railed.

"From this time forward, understand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behavior…You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!"

But Jonathan Beeton, a spokesman for Wasserman Schultz, charged that West's grievance was not actually with the congresswoman.

"I don't think that Congressman West is upset at the Congresswoman, but rather with the fact that she highlighted that he and other Republicans are once again trying to balance the budget on the backs of seniors, children and the middle class," Beeton said. "The truth hurts."

And West refused to leave his gripe on the House floor. Signing the e-mail "Steadfast and Loyal," West vowed, "I am bringing your actions today to our Majority Leader and Majority Whip."

CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.

Filed under: Allen West • Debbie Wasserman Schultz • Debt • Deficit
soundoff (604 Responses)
  1. Frank

    Wasserman Shultz has some common sense and shows responsibility towards her own constituents. West is a pawn of Grover Norquist.

    July 19, 2011 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  2. dave

    Hopefully, Mr. West's seniors will hand him his head at election time

    July 19, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  3. LNB

    Kick some butt...Wasserman Schultz. You are correct on all levels, especially the cut, cap, balance 'tea baggin' plan. TRICKLE DOWN DOES NOT WORK. Tax rates on the ultra rich are the lowest in decades. Look at the results. People are hurting. PEOPLE ARE HURTING! The GOP are terrorizing the nation and their numbers are falling rapidly in the polls. How obvious it is that they support the money mongering vultures of our society. And if anyone is paying attention to their moves on the floor, it is the rich they support and secondly, they will do ANYTHING to bring MR. Obama down. They should all be sent to terrorist reparation clinics.....And I will support you if you run in 2016 or 2020.

    July 19, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  4. DALE

    Cut, Cap & Balance is going nowhere, so why waste out time. They all need to grow up and get some "meaningful" work done and stop grandstanding.

    July 19, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  5. Kirk Jonas

    Aww... poor wittle West got his feelings hurt. Go running crying to daddy Cantor...

    July 19, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  6. sick of republican phonies

    Very simple. West: Do you favor a plan that will increase costs to Medicare beneficiaries? Yes, you do. That's the truth. Why so upset? You don't like it when people say true things about you?

    July 19, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  7. roro

    Oh, pooh. What a sorehead. She referred to your political stance. You called her names. Talk about characterless behavior. If you can't take the heat, Mr. West, get out of the kitchen, where I suppose you think Ms. Wasserman-Schultz belongs. She's certainly more of a lady than you are a gentleman. Now go ahead and tattle and whine to the Majority Leader and the Majority Whip. Your behavior reeks of third grade tantrums.

    July 19, 2011 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  8. Blswan

    If Mr. West was offended by the truth of the matter, it is his problem. The truth hurts Mr. West, doesn't it?

    July 19, 2011 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  9. charles

    These stupid kids are just playing. With no raising taxes who is going to pay for the deficts you republicans created during the Bush era? You started two wars for which this country has paid so dearly, who is going to pay for that? Democrats, the welfare state is uncerstainable. Many people have had the free benefits for life with all their kids and grand-grand childrens. This is unacceptable. The country can no-longer affording this. Any one who is poor can be given only one opportunity through affordable student loans so that theybecome self cerstaining, otherwise this country is in a big trouble.

    July 19, 2011 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  10. OARFNY

    Ms. Wasserman-Shultz is normally rude and doesn't let things like facts stand in the way of laughably inane comments. I understand that she has recently faced medical issues of her own and is doing well. I wish her nothing but the best in her personal life and for all health issues she has or will face. Frankly, she should be ashamed of some of the political charges she makes. Her spokesman's comments are nothing more than political garbage.

    July 19, 2011 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  11. Dieter Zerressen

    He can dish it out but he can't take it. Taking back benefits from elderly constituents who are a thousand miles away from Washington DC is pretty easy, I guess. This guy has been an a-hole since day one – I hope his district finally puts two and two together. Also this guy has been on the government dole all of his life – military and now congress – he gets everything paid for by the government i.e. we, the taxpayers but he won't throw us a scrap of bone.

    July 19, 2011 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  12. roscoe

    Oh boo-hoo, I'm going to cry to Boner and Eric. Spend a little more time working and less time off the house floor. Instead of crying and playing games, pass a bill to make sure the USA doesn't default on its promises.

    July 19, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  13. West off base

    Congress was in session and West left the chamber. Why would he think that other Congress persons should not mention his position on an issue because he's not in the room? IT WAS HIS DECISION TO BE ABSENT WHEN CONGRESS WAS IN SESSION.
    Instead of turning it into a personal issue......he should address the point of fact raised by a fellow Congress person. Effective governing requires addressing issues.....not looking for fights.

    July 19, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  14. Billy

    Ha West is a fool, and if he really cared, he would have STAYED on the floor instead of running from the House floor. He and the other Tea Party members are soon going to understand, AMERICA IS NOT WITH YOU!

    July 19, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  15. tffl

    Good god, West has a thin skin. Not sure how long he'll last in politics before he explodes...

    July 19, 2011 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  16. MusicMagic

    Wah Wah Mr. West. Like a child in the check out line. Wah Wah

    July 19, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  17. rhumba

    "I am bringing your actions today to our Majority Leader and Majority Whip." Ooooo! scary. He's taking his grievance to Eric Cantor. Scary. What does West think that Cantor's going to do, beat up Wasserman Schulz? West is totally nuts, isn't he?

    July 19, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  18. Reverend Darry O. Echols

    I served with Allen West in Italy-even lived next door to him. This is not the Allen West I thought I knew back in the 80s.

    July 19, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  19. CBR

    Representative West has been caught following special interest groups and not following through for his constituents. I do not see where the congresswoman made disparaging remarks but Rep. West sure wants to pick a fight. He would get more headlines and his vote today would not be in the headlines. Instead his constituents will be talking about this non-issue.

    The Majority Leader needs to walk a fine line if he is to be successful. The Whip will love this fight. He can make his stand and talk about it for days. He will keep people from focusing on the real issues.

    July 19, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  20. Ben

    West is full of himself and it as well. I hope his district votes him out after one term. He's worthless.

    July 19, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  21. Mary Repar

    Allen West exemplifies republicans–he's a cry baby! He can dish it out but he can't take it. And, when he is called out he whines, whines, whines. This is what the republicans have become. They don't want to govern, so they are going to hold their collective breath until they get their way or turn blue in the face. Cry babies!

    July 19, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  22. Liz the First

    Repubs can't stand when people tell the truth about them. it makes them crazy-er! she stated a fact and a very justifiable opinion. his response pins the needle on the crazy meter. more proof repubs don't believe in government and democracy. i'll never understand why people vote to put people who hate government in government.

    July 19, 2011 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  23. Tony

    West is the biggest joke in congress, and this incident proves he is clearly no gentleman.

    July 19, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  24. paul

    West got his job by promising to create more jobs, jobs, jobs when he got to Washington. Instead he has spent his time on finding ways to put contituents of his district on a voucher plan for medicare. Tell me, Mr. West, how much insurance will a 6000 voucher cover for a 75 yr. old with a heart problem????? Debbie W. was correct in saying that you want to balance the budget on the backs of senior citizens.

    July 19, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  25. GaryB

    Man, Republicans sure have thin skins. All she did was point out the facts. Although the "Cut, Cap..." supporters say that it won't affect Medicare, all independent sources that have crunched the numbers say that there's no way it could be implemented without substantial cuts to Medicare benefits. Of course, its possible that West pulled a Michelle Bachmann aqnd didn't bother to read the bill.

    July 19, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
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