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. Jill American

    Guess West should have not left the House after having his say and should have stuck around while others spoke. In a rush to go somewhere while the country crumbles?

    July 20, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Craig

    Not surprised CNN is looking for news to disparage West. A black conservative, well spoken, common sense conservative is a big threat.

    July 20, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. Tony

    What is this country coming to. Soon our House and Senate floors are going to look like the Taiwanese Parliament – Chair, shoes and fists flying everywhere. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was presenting her view on legislation – Doing what she was elected to do. Allen West – Evidently does not know parliamentary procedure with that being said. As a decent person you do not talk/read someone like that. He owes her an apology and an apology to his constituents for embarrassing them and his office.

    July 20, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. Sophia

    Sorry...let me say it a different way..do you sit down when putting on your pants? Mr West...Or stand up like a man....politics 101...didn't they cover that in tea party school?..you miss that day?...just sayin

    July 20, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Teena

    If she had called HIM out I am sure he would be screaming racism–but the congressman should stand up and be proud of the fact that his vote WILL cut medicare! Stop screaming about someone challenging you on the truth Mr. West. Man up and say you are receiving your backing from the tea baggers who want to practice "Trickle Up Poverty"

    July 20, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. steven harnack

    Apparently Mr. West had left the building while the House was still in session. Kind of hard to say something in front of him if he refuses to be there doing his job! What a case of over reaction!

    July 20, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. doug

    This evil lib is a billion times more partisan, dishonest, and hateful than the rudest entertainers on radio and tv yet she is the chair person of the DNC? Says alot about that party and its members, I can't blame the Republicans for not working with 'dem as it really is no different than making a deal with the devil.

    You can find the most hateful bigotted Republican in all of America and your example will be easily trumped just by saying Congresswoman Shultz. THen again Democrats believe the truth and facts are hate crimes.

    July 20, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. Orchid333

    Classic Democrat v/s Republican. The fact that this bill even went through a House vote when there's no way it would pass the Senate is another classic time-waster. How 'bout we stop focusing on tit-for-tat and just get through this debt deal realistically so our government can move forward? I mean, come on. This is so dumb.

    July 20, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. Rsprings

    Wassermann-Schultz is known for her "attitude". She is a hardcore left winger who will drain the well until we all die of thirst. Something has got to be done about the unsustainable spending in DC. As a soon to be recipient of Social Security and Medicare, I understand that the entire program is in jeopardy if something is not done. The left does not have the political courage to do anything. They continue to use their scare mongering rather than trying to protect all current and future recipient. They continue to get support in this way by denigrating the "rich" in their class warfare approach. It is sickening..

    July 20, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. jsmith

    Steadfast and Loyal, go Redleg!

    July 20, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    jb1111 wrote:
    I voted for Obama because he promised bipartisanship and transparency.
    -------------
    How do you define bipartisanship? The person who let's his political opponents extend their tax cut, or the person who signs pledges to do whatever it takes to end his opponents political career after one term of office?

    July 20, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. purnellmeagrejr

    West is over the top.

    July 20, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. Laverne

    Wow, if it walks like a duck and quack like a duck then it's a republican!

    July 20, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. Dan

    Money doesn't grow on trees, Democrats. Wake up Democrats, the reps that claim they are looking out for you are the ones that will bankrupt this country. Then your liberal asses will have nothing and all the rich Americans will continue laughing at your inability to support yourselves. Get educated, Democrats! MONEY DOESN'T GROW ON TREES.

    July 20, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. Marjee123

    Typical trying to pick on what he "thinks" is the weaker sex. She sure fooled you buddy. What are you going to do now West demand she be tortured like you did the Iraqi prisoners. More and more republicans show they are the absolute scum of the earth, who are so dispicible they try their best to hide behind the Lord. Who by the way keeps kicking them out.

    July 20, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  16. Judy K., Fort Lauderdale

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz has represented her constituents extremely well in the State of Florida and now in Congress. She is the hardest working member in D.C. West has been nothing but trouble from the get-go. How he got elected to this seat I will never understand. He should slither back to wherever he came from. I look forward to his demise in the next election. Debbie on the otherhand will continue to rise in stature and as a hero for South Florida. We love her here.

    July 20, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. mailliam

    What makes both party politicians angry is that they broke it, there is no way out and they are all going to get caught when "mother gets home from work" at the upcoming elections.

    July 20, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. Embroiderista

    Wow. I mean, just . . . wow. What, exactly, does Mr. West think that the Majority Leader/Whip is going to do? Ground Ms. Wasserman Schultz? Send her to her room? Take away her phone/Internet/car privileges? Good grief. If Mr. West and the Tea Party are the best the Republicans have to offer, I pity the party of Lincoln and Roosevelt. What used to be a level-headed, thoughtfully conservative party has become a cabal comprised of mouth-breathers.

    July 20, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  19. Jane

    He speaks the truth the Dems are running scare tactics as usual. They want to hold the middle and lower class in the middle of their hands and keep them down. These rich elite congressmen/women care nothing about you just their agenda, status, and wealth. Just look at how they want to destroy business and the middle class.

    July 20, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. Two and They're Through

    This group of reactionary nihilists, otherwise known as Republicans, have their hands firmly around the necks of the American people and they are about to begin squeezing harder. The American people are going to put an end to this domestic terrorism in 2012.

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

    @Rsprings

    Wassermann-Schultz is known for her "attitude". She is a hardcore left winger who will drain the well until we all die of thirst. Something has got to be done about the unsustainable spending in DC. As a soon to be recipient of Social Security and Medicare, I understand that the entire program is in jeopardy if something is not done. The left does not have the political courage to do anything. They continue to use their scare mongering rather than trying to protect all current and future recipient. They continue to get support in this way by denigrating the "rich" in their class warfare approach. It is sickening..
    ____________________________________________________

    What is truly sickening is watching people who seem to feel that by protecting the uber rich, everyone benefits. I've got news for you: even with restoring our tax rates to the Clinton Rates and by closing the loopholes, they will still be rich. West is nothing more than an ideologue who will never understand his job is to stand up for his constituents, not destroy them. The Right is doing nothing more than handing anyone under 55 a voucher that would not cover a serious ER visit, and most seniors get that if they are willing to screw "soon-to-be" particpants, the current ones can't be far behind. West's actions are those of a child, a child who rails against someone who called him out on the floor of the House
    ( which is in the job description), and then he sends an email. Is an email the best he can do? Why can't he confront her directly? He's a typical TP/GOPer, all hat and no cattle.

    July 20, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. 'merica ruined by rethugs

    "Say it to my face" the tough guy says via email and tattling to his crony bosses. Wow. West just proving how unfit he is.

    July 20, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  23. Random

    Oh no! She's in big trouble now. He's gonna tell mom and dad what she said.

    He'll never be anything more than a freshman representative.

    July 20, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  24. Marc

    It's about TIME that someone takes it directly to the cowardly, lying, ignorant j3erks that comprise the Tea Party. Thye feel free o make ridiculous accusations, and yet, when someone points out how deplorably empty-headed this group is, they whine and moan and stamp their wittle footses. Shove it down their throats – if I had been there, I wouldn't have used "incredulous" – I woudl have called the idiot a traitor to his constituency, putting his personal aspirations above what he was elected to do. Tea Party has zero leadership skills – and followers never got anything more than a lynching accomplished.

    July 20, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. dutchman2400

    My goodness! LTC West seems to be letting his anger get the best of him. This kind of behavior may have worked for him at times in the military, but he may find that his bullying, threating manner of doing things just doesn't work in all situations. Maybe he needs to find another line of work that won't put him under such stress. As a retired Army officer (as is West), I'm dissapointed in his bluster. He should have the maturity to do better than this.

    July 20, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
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