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. Julia

    Sorry, but seniors need to feel the pain too. And don't give me the bunk about how destitute seniors are. Many have pensions, all have SS and Medicare, so they are living a heck of a lot better than some of us who have to save 100% of every penny for our golden years. Yes, I know for a fact they are doing just fine–I work with the elderly! We'll never have their quality of life when houses were affordable and you got a good resale value on the car you traded in every 2 years and your company rewarded your longevity, not pushed you out because you got too old and you were able to take the family on an across-the-country car vacation for two weeks without going bankrupt. So yeah, up the Medicare pain because my generation is barely making it.

    July 20, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC


    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.
    You recite too many empty talking points. Name one policy that kills jobs, and I will name ten GWB policies that caused and still cause irreparable harm to our economy.

    July 20, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. wilypagan

    What a tattle-tale. Complaining to the house majority leader. Little Mr. West obviously doesn't have what it takes to run with the big boys.

    July 20, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    She nailed it. There is no reason for the "cut, cap & full of crap" idea that the GOP has put forth. It won't pass the Senate. It doesn't do anything right now. Work on other things. This just shows me the wrong priorities of the GOP in the House. They should focus on what the were supposedly elected to do - get jobs in the US started.

    July 20, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |

    It is appalling how our political system have become so disrespectful to one another. West constituents should see what kind of person they have in their district and vote him out. I am so fed up with all this disrespect from our politicians form one another to disrespecting the president of the USA. Grow up and act your age. This country should have term, these guys spend too many years in office, and after a while all they want to do is get kick backs so they can leave rich and fat.

    July 20, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. 2 Old 2B Afraid

    I've run out of words to describe these WATBs. In our house, we taught our children that whining is only for little babies, not big boys and girls.

    It seems Mr West has a difficult time adjusting from the military where everything is black and white, and the real world where everything is a shade of gray and he is expected to get along with others.

    Perhaps this isn't the right job for him, after all.

    Who failed? His momma or his superior officers?

    July 20, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. Heartland gal

    Wow. I guess if you disagree with Mr. West's politics, you're "vile" and "despicable."

    July 20, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. Slim

    "I shall defend myself forthright" Isn't that 18th century speak? I like it. I'm going to see if I can work that into a random conversation as work today.

    July 20, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  9. robinhunter

    The Republican mantra has also included, "if you see a senior citizen, throw them under the bus. It'll save on Social Security and Medicare costs." The GOP (Grease Our Palms, Grab Our Profits and Give Others Poverty) continues to grandstand for its political base while accomplishing nothing.

    July 20, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. Janice

    Cong West problem is he still thinks he's this big bad colonel in the Army. No one can question or challenge him. Hello, Mr. West, this is not the army, you're in the halls of Congress now where you are NOT exempt from criticism and can be challenged on issues. You can't cuss out and threaten people like you did in the field. It was your choice to leave the floor after you made your statement, no one forced you. And DWS is looking out for her constituents, by speaking out against that poisonous bill you and your collegues are trying to pass to cut Medicare.

    July 20, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. The Elephant in The Room

    Any person on here that says that DWS & AW are EQUALLY at fault in this situation - or are both "acting like children" are part of the problem.

    Until we Americans learn to pick a winner and a loser and hold them accountable, the lack of cooperation, civility and cooperation that WE SAY we don't like in Washington will continue.

    All ADULT REPUBLICANS need to see this for what it is; she called him out properly and professionally [at least in the realm of politics]. He reacted like a punk. Don't defend him, it will only encourage more of the behavior that all of us say we detest. The Democrats hounded Weiner out of office – – they held him accountable. West doesn't need to be ejected from office but he DOES NOT deserve any support for this.

    This is the "Change You Can Believe In". We are the ones we have been waiting for. Instead of ridiculing these phrases from the President, put them into action.

    July 20, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. Bubba

    He sounds kinda squeaky to me. Better man up if you want to play Florida politics.

    July 20, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. JJ

    You get what you voted for, bet those people in West's district are asking themselves "how could I vote for that!" I hope that loser is one and done!!!

    July 20, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. Colleen

    Wow! Talk about a disproportional response!!! I may be a liberal but even if I wasn't I would be embarassed by West and STRONGLY suggesting some anger management classes, therapy and strong medications! He is out of line pretty much over the line every time he opens his mouth, but this was especially bad, even for him! She WAS representing you constituents by trying to protect them from his bill. She was doing her job in a way that is in no way different than the way anyone else does it on a daily basis, and anyone who ever watches C-Span knows this is true. West way, WAY over-reacted, which is typical for him, and in the process also revealed himself to be not only a hot head, but also his 1940's attitude towards women. In other words, this man is an out of control jerk and if he gets this bent out of shape this easily, he most definitely has picked the wrong profession!!!! Can't wait to see him voted out along with all of the other greedy, selfish, big business republicans.

    July 20, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. t.marino

    West is the one who is truly unhinged. He throws people out of town hall meetings for asking questions and he is the biggest bully. How you people in Florida voted for this tool is beyond reason. Now is the time to take out the stinking garbage.

    July 20, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. Rickster

    I was looking for words to describe Wasserman-Schultz and, as usual, LTC West hit the nail right on the head...."vile" and "despicable" fit perfectly.

    July 20, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. The Other Michael in Houston

    Thank you Rudy NYC, funny to see these so called conservatives act like 2000 to 2008 did not exsist. Oh and Congressman West, I am picking a fight with you, how about I not only tell you how much of a piece of crap your are to face, but teach you how to be real man and not a crying little thin skinned boy.

    July 20, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair

    "I was looking for words to describe Wasserman-Schultz and, as usual, LTC West hit the nail right on the head...."vile" and "despicable" fit perfectly."

    I was thinking more like "donut fetcher for fat boy Ed Schults" and "all-around Obama rump swab".

    July 20, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  19. t.marino

    I was looking for words to describe West and as usual the rest of the forum is correct, he is a disgusting pig. I think that fits perfectly!

    July 20, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. Buy American or Drop Dead

    Notice that West's response makes no mention of the elderly in his district which may be affected by the cuts he supports.......Its all ME, ME, ME. ;

    July 20, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. Stephen

    The Congressman doth protest too much.

    July 20, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. hjs3

    Little fire in the belly there on the part of W/S and I applaud those efforts v.s the sanctimonious tripe
    illustrated by West and the passage of Cut-Cap and Pray....or HR2560

    July 20, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. Tom

    Those of us on Medicare in Broward County will remember this, Mr. West, come election time.

    July 20, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. logic in LA

    Maybe had he stayed on the floor and not left, she would have addressed her dismay to him directly. We pay them to be in chambers for votes. Like any business person, they should stay through the entire meeting. He says she is no lady. I say he is no gentleman.

    July 20, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  25. Cedar Rapids

    'Liberals have for years been able to say whatever they want and not be taken to task.'
    oh like what exactly? please do enlighten us what it is that libs only have been doing for years whilst the repubs have been all holy and light and not done anything. Nonsense.

    'Because no one else (especially the media) will hold liberals accountable for their inflamatory rhetoric, these young Conservatives are following Sarah Palin's lead – fight back'
    This the same Palin that used inflamatory rhetoric such as 'death panels' and 'pals around with terrorists' and put sights (oh sorry, apparently they were surveyor marks, lol) over democrats on a map?

    July 20, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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