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. kevin

    West is the coward here. Rather than defend his actions, he chooses the typical Republican response to cast stones and deflect blame. You did this West..now pay up...and Man up punk!

    July 20, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  2. Wonder

    Sometimes I wonder. I really do. When Black Republicans follow the course they do in defending the Republican philosophy if non-black Republicans are in a room in the back laughing and rolling around on the floor.

    Just a question but I do wonder often.

    July 20, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  3. Dave

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a joke. West, even though he is a freshman, will chew her up and spit her out.

    Can not wait for these new breed of Republicans (accountable, fiscally responsible, follows the constitution, have morals) to own the Senate next year as well.

    July 20, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  4. SayWhat

    Let no criticism be heard of the actions of a conservative. Differing opinions will be shouted down and the dissenters intimidated into silence. In the New Conservative World Order dissent will not be tolerated (unless a large corporation can make money from it).

    July 20, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  5. Doug

    Wasserman-Schultz speaks out on the effect of replublican cut-cap-balance on the people of Florida,
    and Allen West responds with a 'how dare you' speak against my support of cut-cap-balance.
    Keep your voice down Wasserman-Schultz, you'll wake up the people in Florida to what's going on.

    July 20, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  6. NYCL

    If you folks want to see who is right here, find the interview Steve Wynn gave about this administration and how its job killing policies have and will continue hurting us. Until this administration is out of office, business will not get better. We, the business community have spoken and you liberals better listen because you work for us, not the other way around.

    July 20, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  7. TwM

    Democrats continue to maintain the lies that the Republicans are trying to balance the budget on the backs of the seniors. This is not true: All the changes they are discussing would happen down the road and are necessary to maintain the programs. It also would not affect the current receipients.
    What I would like to see is the Democrats proposal to fix our budgetary problem they have yet to offer anything other than status quo and spend spend spend. As much as the left side despises the ideas at least the Republicans are offering up ideas. Don't beleive me, ask obama who said as much numerous times over. Our President is actually frustrated by the lack of effort being given by his parties side. Should be interesting once Mr. obama has to try and get his party to swallow the cuts that are a coming.

    July 20, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  8. Anonymous

    So if debate was still going on why did he leave? He spoke and felt his job was done?

    July 20, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  9. Ivan Bial

    The work of congress does not stop because one of its members leave the chambers.

    At no time was Ms. Schultz disrespectful. It seems Freshman Congressman West can’t support his own positions.

    July 20, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  10. ATL common sense

    This little boy's tirade deserves an equally adult response. Whaaaaaaaa!

    July 20, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. Dave Jaipersaud

    West is behaving like a guilty person who got caught. When he is called out on the truth, he gets defensive. Of Course the cut, cap and balance will cut funding of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Does he think the somehow we can cut trillions of dollars and magically none of the societal security nets for those in desperate need will be affected? Typical Republicans, they want to cut stuff and have people believe nothing will be affected. WEST! Be honest with the people, tell you supporters the truth. I am sure they are not idiots. But then again, they might be.

    July 20, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. tim43

    Recall that Allen West hired the conservative radio talk show host who told us that if ballots don't work, bullets will. She flat-out advocated the violent overthrow of the US government. That's treason or at least sedition. And West wanted her as chief of staff. Talk about vile!

    July 20, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. Toussaint

    What a cry baby. It's not like she posted her comment private twiter account. She made her comment on floor. I guest the truth does hurt. grow up West or get out of people's business...

    July 20, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. U.S. Common Sense

    Both individuals are wrong in this instance. Wasserman Schultz needs to learn floor decorum (specially as the face of the DNC), and West needs to let stupid comments flow past him. Once you lower yourself to the level of your adversary, you've lost the higher ground.

    July 20, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. Moorbo

    Schultz directly disagrees with West's policy presumably picking him out since he is in a nearby district. So West decides it is appropriate to respond with personal attacks and then say he is going to go complain to the majority leader and whip? Is there something more to this to cause this kind of rivalry, or is West always this childish?

    July 20, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. Belov

    Maybe something is not being said, but from this article, it seems that West is overreacting. Schultz did not attack him; she attacked his decision to support a bill. I really do not see how that is an excuse for calling her "most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member" of the House.

    July 20, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. Laurie

    Add his name to the Rethugs list who've gone a little kooky.

    July 20, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. Toussaint

    What a cry baby. It's not like she posted her comment on private twiter account. She made her comment on the floor. I guest the truth does hurt. grow up West or get out of the people's business...

    July 20, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. Sortakinda

    Thou shalt not call a jerk a jerk, Congresswoman. Buy your own tea, with your own money Congressman West, not out of the pockets of the needy.It appears that you are not a gentleman, eithre.

    July 20, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Rep. West is a shining example of today's Republican Party, better known as the Grand Old Tea Party. As much as America has its' spending, deficit and debt problems, America has an even bigger Republican problem. The entire party behaves as if they're corrupt.

    July 20, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  21. Stephen

    Seriously? "I'm telling mommy and daddy on you"?

    July 20, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. Eric

    West vowed, "I am bringing your actions today to our Majority Leader and Majority Whip." Wait a second, she made her comments that he got his feathers all ruffled over on the House floor, and he needs to bring it to the attention of the Majoriy Leader and Whip? Were none of them, nor any of their staff on the floor, nor have anyway to track what was going on on the floor? No wonder the two sides have so much trouble communicating! They probably rely on FOX and MSNBC to get their info on the other side. Why can't we just listen openly, share are own ideas, and work together?

    July 20, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  23. Republicans - The Not Intended To Be Factually Accurate" Party

    She stung him as professionaly as is possible in politics. No foul. HeLs just sore because she`s highlighting that he shouldn`t vote that way if he wants to keep his Congressional seat. THERE ARE A LOT OF BLUE-haired old ladies in Florida.

    July 20, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  24. hypatia

    To call a fellow in chambers 'not a lady' is the hallmark of one who is far less than a gentleman.

    July 20, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  25. Crystal Palmer Bull

    Mr. West get your big boy pants on and have the courage to stand by your convictions.. you want to balance the budget on seniors and poor children.. OWN IT .. suck it up and do your republican job.. protect those billionaires... and stop acting like a 2 yo.. you are completely embarrassing yourself and your state. I am surprised to see a black man be sexist. you should know what discrimination is. To infer to treat her any differently than a man is sexist.

    July 20, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
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