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. Erik

    I don't see anything offensive in what Wasserman Schultz said. Maybe West just didn't like her pointing out the truth.

    July 20, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. Cevennes

    West's violent, threatening rhetoric shames all soldiers and has no place in public discourse. He should take a time out and read up on Eisenhower, a true soldier who understood the importance of civility away off the battlefield.

    July 20, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. truthsayer2

    Living in Florida and having had to listen to her during last year's campaign, I can attest: she is vile.

    July 20, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. Brooke in Fort Mill

    West then added "Whaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh......"

    July 20, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. Alan

    You try to disparage Congressman West by saying he is a tea party favorite (labeling him) but fail to state that Wasserman-Shultz is an ultra leftist and favorite of the Kos Kooks.

    July 20, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. JMR49

    I do believe we have a candidate for 2016...git 'em Deb!

    July 20, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. Jack Adams

    I was simply devastated by Rep. Allen West 's outrageous and incendiary statement about Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shutlz , simply because she disagreed with him on a Congressional Bill which has already passed the House, but will not pass the Senate. I would have hoped he would respect the right of the DNC Chairperson's right to disagree with the bill he supports and vice versa. As a fellow retired military officer of his same rank, I believe he would simply look in the mirror, he might find the person he is accusing Rep. Shultz of being.

    July 20, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  8. marcamp

    I'm not sure why so many negative comments. Who wants to be talked about when they leave the room? While her point may or may not have been justified, it looses its value based on the fact that she couldn't stand her ground and confront Representative West with determination and dignit while he was still in the room.. Granted, they're on opposite sides of the fence, but he was valid in his criticism on the way she handled the situation. If you're going to "fight," learn how to do it...she looked like a standing snake..

    July 20, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. Jack Adams

    As a fellow retired military officer of the same rank as Rep. Allen West, I was very disappointed of his unfair and untruthful characterization of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz as she was simply expressing her views of this bill, which has already passed the House, but will not pass the Senate.

    July 20, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. Jsun

    Schultz answering in the well of the Congress is not talking behind West's back. He should stay in the chamber if he feels the need to hear the responses to his words.

    July 20, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Roland

    Why not take the opportunity to debate the issues.

    July 20, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. Nothing new here

    Boy, talk about childish and rude.
    I am an Independent voter, so I don't necessarily lean towards either party.
    But I am saddened to see our elected officials acting in such unprofessional manners.
    If these people were just Average Joes, both of them would be standing in the unemployment line.
    We need to start demanding better from our elected officials.

    July 20, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Joe B-b-b-b-bob

    These petulant childish Repug outbursts show they can't even control their emotions. They embarrass themselves time and time again - and seem incapable of ever recognizing it.

    July 20, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. LBO

    West, what a baby you are. What are you going to do do next time she says seomething you do not like, hit her?
    You are nothing but a one term rep.. You do not have what it takes to play with adults. Your temper is very unbecoming and underscores how weak you are.

    July 20, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. Democrat Class Warfare & Race Baiting - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    West is right on in his assessment of this Democrat POS. Calling her vile is the understatement of the year.

    It is totally inappropriate for this POS to start personal attacks on the flor of the House. SPEAK TO THE ISSUES FOOL. These Progressive character assassins can't win on the facts so they resort to personal insults and attacks. Im proud of West for throwing it right back in her face. Enough is enough.

    July 20, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. John

    folks... its easy to see what's going on here.

    black guy republican is so repressed that he shows his crush for the democrat white woman by sublimating it into hot, ripe, sexual tension. if they can't be together, then let them be apart! 😀

    July 20, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. LBO

    West, what a baby you are. What are you going to do do next time she says seomething you do not like, hit her?
    You do not have what it takes to play with adults. Your temper is very unbecoming and underscores how weak you are.

    July 20, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. LBO

    West, what a baby you are.You do not have what it takes to play with adults. Your temper is very unbecoming and underscores how weak you are. You sir, are the vile one.

    July 20, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    MrC wrote:
    Why is it Republicans are always supposed to apologize when Democrats routinely and gleefully commit vile attacks on the likes of Palin and Bachman or try to peg the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords on the Tea Party and are never held to account? Get serious.
    Get serious. What about DeMint yelling, "You lie!", which he actually did at least 3 times. He finally got noticed with the last one because the rancor had settled down. Check out the tapes. Have you forgotten about the ridicuous birther movement?

    As far as Palin and Bachmann go, their own words speak for themselves. SNL simply repeated Palin's own words. Repeating any of Bachmann's words can get you arrested for treason and conspiracy.

    July 20, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. Dean

    She's a pig.

    July 20, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. Steve in Denver

    @Rickster and Fair is Fair: So typical of right wingers. Someone talks policy, you call them names. No wonder you like west. Just like you, there is your side and the wrong side. And, since you can't defend your crap like cutting medicare and "tax cuts create jobs," you resort to grade school name calling. Just like west (and most of the conservative posters here).

    July 20, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. the_dude

    We all know that the trickle down republican economy does not work. Instead I like obama idea of taking a bunch of money and giving it to the richest and wealtiest bankers and ceos and hope that they spend some of that money on the little people to give them jobs instead. That is much better than trickle down economy.

    July 20, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. David

    Isn't this the guy who got booted out of the military for beating up an Iraqi police officer or something? He needs to be targeted by the Dems and sent hom.

    July 20, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. Arkansas Undertaker

    Congressman West should resign over his outrageous behavior. To threaten a collegue is totally unaccepteable. He does not have the temperment, respect of honor for the office he holds. HE SHOULD RESIGN!

    July 20, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  25. James

    Mr. West...Grow up and be a man. if you cna't take the heat inthe political world get out before you're voted out!

    July 20, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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