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. Bob from Illinois

    Let me get this right – she made her statements in public, on the House floor, while in session, which is where West is supposed to be, and points out the facts of his positions.

    His response – an e-mail personally vilifying Wasserman-Schultz, not evenb bothering to reply to the specifics of her accusations, and an open threat to tell his big brother on her.

    And West has the chutzpah to claim that W-S lacked the nerve to make her comments to him direct, lacks maturity, lacks spine.

    Cons, your projections of your own failings are getting too obvious even for you Cons to ignore. Grow up.

    July 20, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. DrewInPortland

    whaaaa! I'm going to tell our boss on you! It is seriously like high school student government, without having to fundraise for the prom.

    July 20, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. 'merica ruined by rethugs


    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.
    Dan, thanks for eloquently summing up what it is that the rest of America (and we're growing in droves) despises about the Rethuglican brand. Rich will not win the class warfare - book it son!

    July 20, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. txgal54

    aww, west got his widdle feeling hurt? somebody call the WAAAHMbulance!!

    July 20, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. Herb (12th Apostle)

    I don't understand why West is so upset about Wasserman's remarks. She attacked his position not him. How is that a "personal fight"? Attacking your opponent's position is fair game in the political arena.

    What isn't fair is West's overreaction and personal attack of Wasserman ("Stop being a coward...shut the heck up...your heinous characterless behavior...you are not a lady"). What was his motivation for using such loaded words?

    Whatever your position is on "Cut, Cap, and Balance," I don't see how you can read this and not find Congressman West's retort unacceptable.

    July 20, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. Futon Torpedo

    "I am bringing your actions today to our Majority Leader and Majority Whip." TRANSLATION: "I'm tellin Mom & Dad!". Crybaby.

    July 20, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. jb

    West is an embarrasment (another) for Florida.

    July 20, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. Carrington1

    Winston Churchill said, "Democracy is a terrible system and all the others are worse." It is a good thing that people can let off a little verbal steam when neither can understand how any sane person could possibly hold the view of the other. It is just demcracy in action. I say, let them go at it. It's healthy.

    July 20, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. Annie, Atlanta

    This man does not appear balanced. What were his constituents thinking putting him in office? He's not serving the public, he's serving himself. Of course what else is new in DC these days?

    July 20, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. coy4one

    And all this is being reported and performed in Congress so to waste whose time?

    July 20, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. Annie, Atlanta

    Craig – did you read the letter he wrote to Wasserman-Schultz? Didn't think so. He needs to be censured for this kind of attack against a co-worker. If had been in the chamber doing his job, she would not have spoken behind his back.

    July 20, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. CryBaby

    Daddy, Daddy!!!!!! She called me a name!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 20, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  13. Brian

    I can't believe any liberals on here are actually defending Wasserman Schultz... she's been the bane of the democrats existence since taking over the DNC. Her ridiculous comments have made the democrat party look like a bunch of fools. Her comment that democrats own this economy now might be the most damaging thing any democrat has said since obama took office

    July 20, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. End GOPerate greed

    Wasserman-Schultz is great – and exactly what the backward barbarians of the right wing freak show fear more than anything – an attractive woman with an intelligent mind who knows how to use it.

    BOO!! .....................be afraid, be very afraid!

    July 20, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Falcon 78 in Northern Virginia

    Let Ms Wasserman-Schultz spend time detailing a plan to extract us from this debt sink-hole. Instead of taking time to verbally attack a fellow member of Congress, I'd love to hear her explain what we should do to get us out of the debt Democrats have led us into. The Obama administration can't spend other peoples' money fast enough. THis is totally a spending problem and not a tax and revenue problem. So, all of you posters–instead of hurling ephithets and grade school insults, start posting specific ideas to handle the issues and problems that plague our country. How about President Obama lead the way by tabling a realistic budget?

    July 20, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. FloridaVoter

    As a registered voter in the state of Florida, I am appalled and embarrassed by this Congressman's unprofessional email attack on a fellow state lawmaker. While I respect the fact that they have differing opinions on how to best represent their constituents. Rep. Allen's behavior was conduct unbecoming a military officer and member of Congress. I plan to work tirelessly to insure Mr. West is a one term congressman. Mr. West left the military under a black cloud and he will leave Congress under the same cloud.

    July 20, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Where Are The Jobs Romney Created in The USA? Anyone....

    No Class West has sold his soul to the GOP devils – Grover Norquist, the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch!!!!

    West needs to get his panty draws tied up in a bunch like a BIG BOI, instead of crying like a baby to his big brother Eric Cantor because he got floored by a woman!!...what is this....highschool?

    Whiny little wuzzy West is. he must be learning real fast from crybaby Boehner!!!

    July 20, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  18. Layla

    Ms. Wasserman-Schultz is what is known as an "attack dog". The sad part in all this is that Congress is now debasing itself. If her Constituents think they are getting their money's worth, ask her why she supported all of Pelosi's spending, including shoving Obamacare down our throats?

    There is a term for this woman's behavior. I shall not use it here.

    July 20, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Falcon wrote:
    ... The Obama administration can't spend other peoples' money fast enough. THis is totally a spending problem and not a tax and revenue problem. ...
    Every administration spends "other people's money." The money is called taxes. The recent deficits began with FY2009, which was Bush's last year and is a path that Republicans have insisted we stick to.

    July 20, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. Jorge

    Typical little thug with a great big ego, can't take the it-is-what-it-is from a woman without trying to intimidate her. Man, in my old neighborhood if he'd been dumb enough to try and whale on someone like that, he'd have been handed his butt on a bloody platter, dog tags and all.

    July 20, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  21. Phil in KC

    She called him out over a stance that was contradictory to his constituency. She did so in language that was appropriate to the senate. West, on the other hand, resorted to name calling. He did so outside senate chambers and in a manner that is not in keeping with his office. Regardless of where you stand on the politics, he comes off looking bad.

    July 20, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. Michael in Boston

    Its my opinion that facts no longer matter in politics. It seems today's politician is taking the Palin/Backmann approach of showing outrage at personal attacks as if they are outlawed or something. Our media and our politicians have divided this country. Republicans need to work with Democrats and vice versus. Cut a deal and let's move onto jobs, jobs, jobs.

    July 20, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. WTF is going on here?

    Among the 535 members of Congress, I think it would be hard to find a dozen working brain cells. The collective stupidity of that body just boggles the mind. It's amazing that any of them can get dressed for work! I was always under the impression that "governing" was about representing the people, not personal interest. Shows how naive I can be! Not one of our elected officials has any desire to help the common citizen; only big business and special interest groups get their attention. Sickening, actually.

    Can anyone remember a single bill that's passed into law (in the last 20 years or so) which actually did something to benefit the middle class? I can't...

    July 20, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. Brian

    End GOPerate greed

    Wasserman-Schultz is great – and exactly what the backward barbarians of the right wing freak show fear more than anything – an attractive woman with an intelligent mind who knows how to use it.

    If the woman in the picture above looks attractive to you... you have some issues that need to be discussed with professionals

    July 20, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. XWngLady

    "She [Wasserman-Shultz] has been going after Mr. West for months now, even staging a protest in front of his office."....DUH! In addition to being a Congresswoman from FL, she's also the Democratic National Committee (DNC) CHAIRPERSON. It's her JOB to stage protests in front of ridiculous Republicans' office.

    July 20, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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