Wasserman Schultz, West let the fur fly
July 19th, 2011
09:42 PM ET
3 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. Toyin Isijola

    The arrogance of the tea party. No substance, all they are good at is insulting people.

    July 20, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  2. mario

    Allen if the shoe fits please wear it.

    July 20, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  3. Moby49

    HAHAHAHAHA. Once again the repubs prove they can dish it but their thin skin can't take it. Talk about unprofessional. West you take the cake.

    July 20, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  4. jake1969

    West is a total tool. It is clear Wasserman's comments attacked his POLICY POSITIONS, not him as a person. Yet he took it as a total personal attack and starts spouting off like a high schooler. How ridiculous and juvenile. When someone reacts personally to a non-personal position, it shows clear EGO. West is full of it.

    July 20, 2011 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  5. dmanphx

    Really, did West just say , "you're a big meanie and I am telling mom!"? Congress is just like elementary school.

    July 20, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. Brian in Massachusetts

    Republicans are a thin-skinned bunch, aren't they? They can dish it out, but they cry like babies when they're criticized.

    July 20, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. JMR49

    TP Pansy. What are you doing walking out when there's business on the floor?

    July 20, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  8. Bill

    What is West talking about? Calling Wasserman-Schultz a coward and saying she was talking behind his back? Her comments were made from the House floor where, as a congressman, he should have been. Plus, she spoke the truth. Looks like Congressman West just wants a little publicity for himself by taking on the Democrat party chairperson. All he did was make himself look foolish.

    July 20, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  9. Stoney

    Is she being racist? Or is she just being a wild-haired liberal.

    July 20, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  10. Let's get rational now

    West. The latest one term congressman. Nuff said.

    July 20, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  11. Publius Novus

    "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." To be sure, Rep. Wasserman should have begun her remark with "incredibly," rather than "incredulously." But heinous? Vile? Unprofessional? I must have missed something. Mr. West, you need a little thicker skin if you're going to stay in politics.

    July 20, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  12. XWngLady

    NOVICE!...Immature! Congresspersons always direct their comments at each other but not directly. Learn the ropes first dude, and get some thicker skin. The 'angry black male' attitude will get you nowhere (except defeated in the next election), even as a Republican.

    July 20, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  13. egm11

    cannot blame rep west. waffleehead shultz is a nasty piece of work. she is the female anthony weiner for the democrats. i wouldnt doubt for a minute that she has sent some photos of her own to some poor schmuck. that being said, rep west did the right thing.

    July 20, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  14. j. jones

    It is about time that someone told Wasseman to shut up.

    July 20, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  15. Find some character

    Sounds like West is saying that speaking on the House floor is "behind his back" somehow. Maybe if he stayed at his post it wouldn't be. Even if he doesn't, she is saying it all publicly and on the record. And furthermore, she's right. The GOP is cutting Medicare (not completely I understand) – cutting back on Medicare. He can get angry if he wants, but it doesn't change the facts. If he doesn't like that truth, then change his vote.

    July 20, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  16. RunSarahRun

    Is Mr. West going to punch DWS? Why does he want her to say it to his face, that is alarming....

    July 20, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  17. AEK

    Let me see if I understand Mr. West's complaint. Ms. Wasserman-Schultz calls him out on the floor of the House of Representatives and he was not in the House, you know, doing his job, participating in the process. So he goes to his office and attacks her via email? And he is the one challenging her to confront him face to face. Shouldn't he have still been "at work" when this was happening? Probably meeting with lobbyist...

    July 20, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  18. Ian

    Yet another example of our government in disarray. The congressman seems to forget that his focus should be on the american people NOT on perceived personal attacks. "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!" Really?? Is this what it has come to? Is this what the founding fathers had in mind? Reading the congressman's comment, one would think he was being accused of murder! Debate is good in any forum but this exchange has gone well beyond debate... America we need to wake up and take a serious look at who we are electing to office on BOTH sides of the aisle! Enough is enough.

    July 20, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  19. Flint Rock

    Perhaps Congressman West should give some thought to growing up.
    On second thought, who cares.

    July 20, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  20. AngieS

    What a nutjob!! He had better grow a thicker skin if he intends on pursuing a second term. Obviously a Freshman...

    July 20, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  21. lue blacke

    This man is nothing but a bully-he need to get over himself! I guess he cannot stand the truth. I would be willing to bet if Debbie was a man-he wouldn't be doing all this "grandstanding"-he knows that his days are numbered as a rep. Let him go back to Florida & finish kissing scott's butt.

    July 20, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  22. Debbie from Arizona

    Well, maybe he should not have left after he spoke. The "I'm going to tell on you" attitude seems rather childish.

    July 20, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  23. FM

    Unfortunately I get difficulties to understand West. Is this the way gentlemen behave??? The man crossed the line and I do wonder if he deserves the right to be taken as a serious person!

    July 20, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  24. America Shrugged

    Oh boo hoo...Congressman West can dish it out but can't take it. Congresswoman Shultz was just stating fact and record and didn't disparage Alan West in any personal way. His face is all over you tube with his town hall meetings spewing his anti-government ( which he's a part of and getting paid for ) ideology and then has the nerve to act offended when someone calls him out on it. Now he's going to be a tattle tale and complain to Boehner and Cantor...Hahaha..

    July 20, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  25. Futon Torpedo

    Wahh waahhh, stop being a baby Mr. West. Next time you guys should vote for Dr. Megalito Loveless.

    July 20, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
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