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. A Repulbican

    He's a joke. So he attacks her but doesn't respond to her point that he represents many seniors in south Florida.

    July 20, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. joyce

    I say to Mr.West. If the shoe fits wear it.

    July 20, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. d

    The Tea Party and Republicans routinely issue statements about Democrats that are mean spirited. Wasserman's email seemed tame to me.
    Like Sarah Palin...this man West responds to things like this with threats.

    July 20, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. sf

    good for Schultz! these republicans ARE Dispicable!!!! on every level....vote all republicans out is my motto!

    July 20, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  5. Chas in Iowa

    What a smurf. He leaves the floor after his little speech and gets offended when someone references the speech he just gave. He ought to stick around after dropping his bombshell speech to gauge response instead of fleeing.

    July 20, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  6. Former Republican, but never again!

    OK, who made this fight personal? It seems to me that West was the one who engaged in name-calling and pettiness.

    July 20, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  7. No limit to the stupid

    West might want to get treatment for that PTSD thing he's got going.

    July 20, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. Ed Gruberman

    Who cares. Florida is a money pit, and should be sold to the Chinese to eliminate our national debt. Then we can get rid of both of these clowns.

    July 20, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  9. Ernie

    Gee Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Allen West are acting like to schoool yard kids. They are saying my deal is better than yours, no my deal is better than yours. I though the members of Congress are suppose to act like professionals. This is an example why things don't get done in Washington. I say put the both of them in a room and let them battle it out. The last man or woman standing wins and get what they want. It seems like this is the ony way things are going to get done in Washington.

    July 20, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. Robert Cloosdoosch

    What exactly did Wasseman Schultz say that was "vile and dispicable"?
    How dare she point out the truth? If anything Wasseman is guilty of using restraint. This guy is a first class looney.

    July 20, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    Doesn't play well with others, does he? Must be taking lessons from Eric Cantor.

    July 20, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. triletter

    West has zero credibility in his attack. This from a former Army officer who retired rather than face charges for acts unbecoming of an officer. West is interested in West's interests under the guise of patriotism and bigotry. Hope that solid voting block (seniors) sees what a Tea Party tool he is and votes him out in the next election.

    July 20, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  13. EatRunDive

    So he makes a speech and leaves, and then he is offended that someone replied to him. Seems to me the responsible thing to do would have been to remain at his position until debate was over.

    July 20, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. Joe E.

    Mr. West has proven himself as a coward for attacking a colleague, let alone a woman. She was portraying his betrayal of his constituents by his support of legislation in an accepted forum, in an accepted manner. Instead of defending his reasons and positions, he lashed out because his pride was injured. Pathetic! The Tea Party hits new lows on a daily basis. He needs a boot out of office.

    July 20, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  15. janice Teter

    Mr. West has stepped in it..... he was so rude ..much more than Ms Wasserman-Shultz. He just kept going on and was very close to a threat. It gave me cold chills to read his comments. At least she is SMART to not go to his level. I hope the best for her.

    July 20, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. marty

    West, another little boy in a man's job. Floridians deserve much better.

    July 20, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. Bozzz

    nothing more tedious than partisan politics. When will these children realize that if this country is going to progress, people with different political views need to work together. Dividing the country is killing it. We elect these people to take care of the nation's problems, and all they do is make the country work more poorly by attacking each other and creating an environment of division. Children.

    July 20, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. Lori in St Pete

    President Obama would never behave in such a manner, Just As I Thought, so your point is moot.

    July 20, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. Ben

    just like a military guy...escalate the issue to your superiors without giving a real response/answer. Waaaaa! I'm telling on you!

    July 20, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. Dru

    I wonder how congressman west acts ,when he meets with his base the KKK. See, affrimative action does work.

    July 20, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. patsj

    What she said was her view of his stance. What he said was way over the top. I bet he is just trying to get his name in print – and he succeeded.

    July 20, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  22. Dave Harris

    Democrats say this all the time about Republicans, you'd think they'd be used to it by now. This kind of drama-queen theatrics is typical of the kinds of clowns who get elected to public office in Florida. Old people have to stop voting for them just because they visit their nursing home and buy them lunch.

    July 20, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. LOL

    clearly this idiot does not know how the political game or basic professionalism works. what's he gonna do, whoop her butt? moron.

    July 20, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Lori in St Pete

    vonnise cobb, what exactly, has "this person" done to have "had this coming for a long time"? Did the screaming heads on the radio provide you with any examples for your talking points? No? Didn't think so.

    July 20, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. patsj

    He says she's no Lady? Based on his tirade, he certainly is no Gentleman.

    July 20, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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