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. JA

    LOL! Washington just gets more comical everyday. It's embarrassing, really.

    July 20, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  2. Kathy

    I think it is about time that the folks in Congress start acting like the grown ups they are suppose to be and stop the personal name calling and personal attacks They should start doing the people's business. This is what they were elected to do – not attack each other personally – they have alot more important things to do – don't you think?

    July 20, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. Bob Jones

    Wasserman Schultz has become the attack dog of the Democrats. She is like the enforcer on a hocky team – sent in to pick fights. The dems continue there scarre tactics. We all know that teh existing seniors would not be harmed. If anything, this medicare shift falls again on teh less than 50% who actually pay taxes, because the changes will affect us when we get there. The dems need to understand that less than 50% cannot support the more than 50% who want the lifestyle, but don't want to work for it. REmember, it's Life, Liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness, not Happiness given to you.

    July 20, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  4. Larry

    Sounds like congressman West has a bit of an anger issue. Calling her, "most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member" of the House" seems a bit harsh. Might be he is the "most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member" of the House". The tea partiers have no problem cutting the deficit (which I am all for) but have no intention of having the rich sacrifice anything toward that goal. Let's all sacrifice something.

    July 20, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  5. mabel floyd

    this man is not only a joke as a man, but has no idea how to act as a congressman. i wish i could confront him face to face. i would be able to make it clear to him what a piece of trash he is. he is not representing his people, he only represents the bonus boys and the corporate donors. he is trying to be what he does not know how to be. the people need to look at this jerk and get rid of him as their congressman. the bonus boys may send him money , but the people can still send him home.

    July 20, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  6. Kipper

    Why do Conservatives attack people instead of defending their ideas?

    July 20, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. Eye of Newt

    I did a little research on Allen West. He is a complete creep.

    He is always getting into fights over his extreme, destrictive ideology.

    You can't blame a quality, decent person like Ms. Wasserman-Schultz from confronting an ugly monster like Allen West.

    July 20, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  8. Sam

    West is more than slightly deranged. In addition to being a member of the tea party faction, he was forced to retire from the military after allegations of inhumane and cruel treatment of prisoners of war. He has a few screws loose and appears to have some unresolved anger control issues as well. I only hope the consituents of his district vote for his opponent the next time around.

    July 20, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  9. EP Sato

    Boy, that Alan West sure does a whole lot of complaining and whining. Always in a tussle with people and making grandiose claims about how this or that person is the most vile, least effective, etc. Meanwhile, what are this freshman's great legislative accomplishments? Oh that's right, he has made NONE. All he's known for is picking fights and saying stupid things that do nothing to move forward the debate. "darling" of the tea party? No surprise there. They don't get it either...

    July 20, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  10. Jeff

    If anything was vile and unprofessional, it is West practically challenging Wasserman to a cage match. She refers to him as the "gentleman from Florida." Sounds professional to me. She also simply pointed out that he is not looking after the majority of his constituants, which is true. He is only looking after his Tea Party supporters and will not consider anything that they don't like. His job is not to protect his job. Rather, his job is to represent all of the people in his area, not just his financial supporters. He is the one making things personal. He is the one acting unprofessional. He needs to realize that he is supposed to be a professional and not take things so personal. Her spokesman put it best. The truth hurts.

    July 20, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. Bessy

    Aw !!!!! Another whining Republican. Go get him Debbie. I hope all the seniors in Florida can see through this bill and what the Republicans are trying to do.

    July 20, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. bb

    I'm giving the benefit to Wasserman-Schultz on this one. She has been shown to be a mature leader time and time again. Any of these public actions that Representatives or Senators do are paid for by the public and are open to public discussion. With sweeping changes proposed, such as West's – it's even MORE important to discuss these in an open forum.

    July 20, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  13. reality

    This "Freshmen" Allen West is a "Vile Teaparty" Nutcase???? "OUR" President OBAMA "Is a REAL SMART AMERICAN"!!! Your friend Senator "Walsh" referred to the "President" as a Lier,and said the President is your President , not mine"?????? America needs to "RECALL" this "Traitor" Don,t make a fool out of yourself Mr.West??? Your "President, IS Americas President!!!!! Got It?

    July 20, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  14. Sherelda

    He is such a Punk. ooh let's meet on the playground and FIGHT. She is probably more of a man than he his. He was so Steadfast and Loyal, he should have came back to the floor and called her out. sounds like he is SCARED. boo hoo Go sit down and drink the Tea Party Kool AID

    July 20, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  15. JWR

    Being an black male myself, I believe Allen West is a discredit to all men. In my opinion, he's the one who is the coward; one who believes in defending the rich and able, but unwilling to defend those who are vulnerable which are the seniors and elderly. He called out Congresswoman Schultz, but won't call out those who are rich, powerful and misusing the system. He's just another flunky and chump serving the MAN. He's still a BOY! I'm surprised that other Floridians haven't called him out for what he is. I know his kind and have been around them all my life. He's a Clarence Thomas wannabe. What a combination Uncle Allen and Uncle Thomas.

    July 20, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. razmataz

    Ladies and gentlemen, meet Nancy Pelosi 2.0

    July 20, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    Let's see....she made her statement on the House Floor, and he fired back in an email. He told her, " "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!"

    Well, since he won't even go to tell this her face-to-face, so he's obviously ducking a fight, and not a real man either (by his twisted logic). West knows he's going down next Fall, and he does not want to be reminded of it. Frankly, if he can't take the heat, quit. This is the pattern with the TP/GOP: they can't bear to be called out on their own failures ( which are racking up by the hour), yet they engage in this sort of juvenile behavior when they are called on it. Apparently Mr. West still seems to feel he can operate by his own rules, which are based on nothing more than some wierd ideal of manhood: I can't wait for him the challenge her to a dual ( She would win, military background or no military background). The amazing thing about him is that he actually seems to think he's doing a great job, and Wasserman Schultz reminded him that his job is about constituent service, not destroying his constituents.

    July 20, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  18. Bob from Illinois

    West soounds like he finally understands that he's busted – he's acting against the good of his constitutents, thought he could get away with it, and resents being dragged into the light.

    His response? Attack the Congressman who exposed his behavior.

    Here's a hint, West – if you don't like having pointed out that you're trying to screw the people who made the mistake of voting you in, don't screw them.

    July 20, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  19. chefdugan

    She's just another loud-mouthed Democrat exaggerating the few facts she has at her disposal. I am a senior from Florida and I would suggest she just shut up!

    July 20, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  20. C. Harris

    Representative West is obviously a Tea Party toy boy– and he should face the consequences from his South Florida constituents and be bounced from office as soon as possible.

    Give'em hell, Debbie. Expose them for who they really are– toy boys for their big money backers who hate democracy.

    July 20, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. Mark

    Maybe if Rep. West had stayed for the entire session instead of ducking out on representing his district, he would have heard her comments. Seriously Mr. West, can you overreact a little bit more?

    July 20, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. Big Joe

    Since when did the tea party ever work for the benefit of seniors?

    July 20, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  23. RLA

    Go WEST!!! Amazing what a really intelligent person sounds like rather than whining disrespectful democrats who are lieing this country into a disaster.

    July 20, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  24. roslie

    Where did Debbie Wasserman Schultz do anything wrong by PUBLICLY addressing Alan West? She was in the House, in a public place and never even mentioned his name! Really? Is this what he wants to go with? The fact that now he has made this personal with her sounds like a threat to me. I am an Independent deciding on who to vote for in 2012, and I am not impressed by either side.

    July 20, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. annie s

    You go girl! It's time for the Dems to constantly and consistently deliver the message that Republicans would pay for their corporate welfare on the backs of seniors and the poor.

    July 20, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
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