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. Carr

    I don’t want to sound rude but those seniors who voted for him deserve what is coming to them. Not only in Florida but the whole country.

    July 20, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. sharon

    Col. West speaks the truth. If you want to attack someone, be a mature adult, and do it to their face. Unprofessional. Sadly, seems like everyone else accepts such low standards of professional conduct, then wonders why congress is incompetent. I hope he continues to show honor and respect. Col. West is refreshingly honorable.

    July 20, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. DENNA

    @Rob – West's mistake was sending an email to a dim-o-wit. He should have known it would get "leaked" to the press. Next time I suggest he write a short message across his knuckles and plant it on her forehead.
    -------------------------------------------------–
    People like you are chilling. The Republican party and their henchmen (like you) will not be satisfied until they destroy everything that is decent in this country. I think you would be happier in Iran or Iraq. Why don't you go there? We won't miss your kind.

    July 20, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. stejo

    I'm more surprised by a very few of the comments here than anything. You people that are attacking Wasserman Schultz for very politely pointing out that his position will increase costs to his constituents, and defending his petulant and unprofessional behavior...eh, never mind. If you don't get it, I hope YOUR benefits get cut.

    July 20, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. witz

    This is the problem with our Representatives, they all turn into 4 year old's when they get to DC. How people can defend either one is mindboggling. Our Government fails us on a regular basis and yet we pick sides and defend the impotent, self promoting politicians who care only for their next election. Something is really wrong about the system and we the people constantly take the beating for these egomanical fools.

    July 20, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. Damien

    Wow. Wasserman's comments were standard, generic political criticism of the opponent. West's reaction was way over the top – bordering on psychotic.

    July 20, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Lando

    Congress should keep an eye on this weirdo....he might run amok nextime if someone call him out again.. Or maybe...
    we should call his babysitter to control his behavior.....he must be watching a lot of spongebob episodes.....

    July 20, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. HunterPSU

    The give me crowd keeps promising the the seniors and entitlement junkies that they can keep taking more and more from the gov. If you say enough is enough and we need to control and cut....you are some sort of crazy wild eyed person. The democrats are destroying our country. Time to stop the waste. Wasserman is a coward that cannot tell the truth to the people of florida. She would rather stay in office and pass the problem on to our children. Selfish.

    July 20, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. WhatshernameSchlotz

    WhatshernameSchlotz is a whiny obnoxious communist spreading false accusations and constantly sticking her foot in her mouth. West is a war hero.
    WhatshernameSchlotz is just another liberal hack!

    July 20, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. bb

    Again – West has a public job representing the public. It's the right of the public to examine his job and his agenda, just as this applies to all political figures. Wasserman-Shultz was 100% justified to examine various agendas publicly, as all political leaders SHOULD DO for the benefit of the people. Yet West slammed her for doing her job.

    Unacceptable behavior on your part, Mr. West, for poorly representing the seniors in your district and for slamming another congress member who was doing her job in better representing the seniors. All this is coming off as blatant jealousy on West's part, if you asked me.

    July 20, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Willy Brown

    If you woke up every morning as was as fugly as Whatshername- Shultz you’d be angry too.

    July 20, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. Willy Brown

    If you woke up every morning as was as ugly as Whatshername- Shultz you’d be angry too.

    July 20, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. HunterPSU

    The give me crowd keeps promising the the seniors and entitlement junkies that they can keep taking more and more from the gov. If you say enough is enough and we need to control and cut....you are some sort of crazy wild eyed person. The democrats are destroying our country. Time to stop the waste. Wasserman is a panderer that cannot tell the truth to the people of florida. She would rather stay in office and pass the problem on to our children. Selfish.

    July 20, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. t.marino

    I think these tea party folks are imploding big time. No debate on issues, just yelling, screaming and vile remarks. I guess they are under the impression that whomever yells the loudest no matter how stupid wins the debate. "We the people" are not all gullible and believe these half wits. This man is the one who is vile.

    July 20, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Toto

    When will the Republicons stop lying. They keep telling us lower taxes will fix everything. When investors get lower capital gains tax and lower dividends taxes the rest of us (who don't have a vast protfolio) are subsidizing sending jobs over seas so rich investors can make big profits. GE used to make lots of things in this country. Taike lightbulbs for instance. We don't make them here anymore. They are made in China. GE doesn't pay US taxes. The investors in GE get a big tax break. And the rest of us shmucks are stuck a minimum wage jobs. You can't TEA PARTY your way out of it.

    Lower taxes support jobs overseas. Call it Globalism if you want. I call it getting screwed.

    Hey Mr. West be a leader. Give up your comnfy Federal Pension and Free Lifetime Healthcare. Live on what you'd get from Social Security and Medicare when you retire.

    July 20, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  16. Sue (military widow)

    West is a retired Lt. Colonel, USA, who was relieved of his command and fined $5,000 for conducting an investigation of an Iraqi detainee in the field in Iraq contrary to military regulations, during which he shot near the detainee's head to get him to talk. He then retired from the Army after he was reprimanded and fined.

    He says that Congressman Wasserman Schultz "shall not be afforded due respect from me!" I feel he is a bully who thinks he is still in the military and anyone who disagrees with him is "out of order," and not due respect. Well, welcome to democratic government, Rep. West. It's not the military where you can control others and bully those you don't agree with to get what you want. (Even that didn't work, did it?) Seems like you haven't learned how to be a Congressman yet, one who should treat others with respect, even if there is disagreement. Politics is the art of compromise, not acting in accord with the US Code of Military Justice, one of the articles of which you broke in Iraq. Now you act as a bully again, throwing your weight around and disrespecting a fellow Congressperson. Shame on you, sir!!!

    How can the seniors in Florida, many of whom are veterans and their dependents, respect and support your advocacy for reducing social security and Medicare benefits, and veterans' benefits. You are a true bully, picking on the helpless to advance your own goals.

    Wake up, Florida, don't re-elect this bully who can't take criticism and face disagreement without becoming verbally aggressive and abusive.

    July 20, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. TheDude

    Yep Rainer. EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY PERSON in West's district is a medicare recipient. How dare he speak as if there's ANYONE in his district who still sees an unbearable percentage of their bi-weekly paycheck being taken away to pay for those programs, while the Dems decry even a single dime of increase in those recipients' burden in helping pay for them.

    Must be one helluva nightlife in a district that is 100% retirees.

    Wait! What's this? Facts about the demographics of West's district? Oh well, why let this pesky bit of info get in the way of a good old fashioned liberal scare tactic.

    Male: 48.8%
    Female: 51.2%
    Median age: 43.0 (what! it's not 78?)
    18 years and over: 81.1%
    65 years and over: 20.8% (What? How DARE he think about the EIGHTY PERCENT of his constituents who are NOT on medicare!!)
    Employed: 58.1%
    Median household income: $51,200
    Families below poverty level: 4.6% (What! You mean more than 95% of his constituents are above poverty level?)
    Bachelor's degree or higher: 34.1%

    The gall of the man!

    July 20, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. Zaggs

    Well if you're going to be a liar Debbie, you can't complain when people call you out about it. The Cut, Cap and Balance doesn't really do anything to Medicare. But your boy Barry had no problem cutting 500 billion from it.
    Keep in mind Debbie is the same idiot that said we're in a economic turnaround, that the GOP is anti woman (which is why they had a female VP candidate I guess) and that the GOP wants to "literally" take the nation back to jim crow laws, because they want to ask for a photo ID.

    July 20, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. Rob Jones

    He probably should not have sent the email, but West is certainly right about Wasserman. She goes around saying Republicans want to go back to Jim Crow laws and people take her seriously? She's a partisan hack. She's gross too even though Obama obviously has a thing for her.

    July 20, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. lisaspups

    theDude - First, Ms. Wasserman did not make any disparaging comments. She stated a fact. The only disparaging comments made came from Mr. West. Second, you need to get your facts straight before accusing the poor and middle of class of not paying their fair share. What evidence do you have that constituents have NEVER been asked to pay more? These groups that you disparage have paid more than their share for years and are suffering now because of the bad behavior of greedy politicians and their rich cronies. Your comment that the old and the poor live a cost-free existence is just as far-fetched as the rest of your post.

    July 20, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. TangledThorns

    Schultz is a racist in her attacks on Allen West.

    July 20, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. Mary

    Florida, you're not looking that great these days..Vote these bums, I mean republicans out..

    July 20, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  23. Stacey51

    West = imbecellic jerk!

    July 20, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. CAL USA

    Hey, at least he didn't threaten to get his gun. If I recall, this is the remedy he and his followers favor when they don't get their way...

    July 20, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. gw

    She never named him, but he refers to her as "Debbie." A real gentleman! And then he calls her "vile." Al has been called out for his extremism and lack of concern for his own constituents, and he goes Mr. Macho against Debbie the Vile. Sounds as if she nailed him big time and he can't take a punch. He should get out of the ring because he going to get beaten to a pulp when he comes up for re-election. This guy is a total lightweight fraud who obeys the Tea Party cults leaders. He's the worst kid of ex-military man-he takes orders easily from Cantor and others who have taken the "pledge."

    July 20, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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