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.
How is it "behind his back" if the comment was made on the floor of the US House of Representatives, arguably one of the most public, documented forums on the planet. I know he's a Freshman congressman but doesn't he know that you can't just say something, then leave the room and magically those who disagree with you will shut up sit down and let you have your way? It doesn't work for a 6 year old and it doesn't work for a congressman.
Wow. Look at that maturity. Don't make fun of Mr. West, or he'll tell on you!
Vile would pretty much describe the Republicans in general and West in particular. I expect he will not hold his office.
I do note that Rep West does not deny her claims in any real way. He just attacks and name calls Rep Wasserman Schulz.
I read what he says and all I hear is, "You're a mean poopy pants, and I'm telling my mommy and daddy!"
Go Debbie!...Tell it like it is....I'm glad you called Rep West
Obviously, the "congressional source" was Wasserman-Schultz herself. As for West, we need his common sense and courage. West for President!
She is one of those names you can't put in print. I guess the Democrat Party can be judged by the "leader" it selects.
Congress West, I am glad to finally see someone stand up to the Liberal Socialist who have taken over our Government. But let her speak her mind, it'll be a very short speech.
Schultz is as dumb as a bag of bricks. The dems couldn't have picked a worse person to run the show. She's up their with Pelosi for being the laughing stock of Congress.
West is a crybaby.
I thought that this guy was supposed to be some kind of ex-military hard charger. He's a wus picking a fight with a girl. That's your GOP in a nutshell, bunch of wimps.
Again, why am I not surprised he's from Florida. There must be something in the water down there.
Sounds like Rep West wasn't too happy about being called out for voting to gut SS and Medicare.
For Mr. West, the truth apparently really does hurt.
I'd like to see a fight between the two. I don't think that that dimwitted, flat toped, forrest whitaker wannabe could take her. Actually, the fact that he felt the need to address this publicly in this manner only proves to show his commitment to the corporate oligarchs as opposed to the citizens that he is supposed to represent. This guy is an idiot with a very short political career ahead of him.
It amusing how confrontational the tea party reps are. "You want a piece of me?" I mean grow up. This is the problem with Congress's flock of tea partiers. They, along with their GOP buddies, are the most unprofessional crop of "politicians" I have seen in decades.
It's funny, when they are called out on their hypocrisy, they respond with a "Let's take it outside" attitude. This is NOT how national legislators, or any legislators, in thsi coutry should behave.
It seems we should just send those who act at such an immature level home to learn how to act like respectable adults.
"If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up." Really? Considering that she was debating his support of the substance of a go-nowhere, do-nothing bill on the HOUSE FLOOR, she did say it to your face! Just because you chose to leave the chamber before she had the opportunity to do so does not make her the coward. Stick around and show your FACE after making a vote that SLAPS the middle class of this country in their FACE. Your failure to do so, sir, makes YOU the coward. Maybe next time, YOU should considering shutting the heck up!
West comes off as rather a nut in this exchange.
Woah...are we ready to rumble???!!!!!
The cogresswoman is right, West is not defending people of florida or his district but other congress members and tea party. You are a perfect conward West.
Mr. West please concentrate on helping the people of every district. instead of getting into personal issues or a personal fight as you stated . Congressman and Congresswoman, the people of America want you to pass laws that can help people in need. We, The elderly are counting for your support in every which way possible. Both of you seem to have the energy to continue your fight please use it wisely . Thanks and have great day
I can't stand Wasserman-Schultz, I live in her district and apologize for my neighbors who voted her in. She has been going after Mr. West for months now, even staging a protest in front of his office. Mr. West is a class act and I totally understand his frustration. I have watched it building for some time now.
Wow, thin-skinned much, tea party?