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. Tom

    Um... Rep West? DWS IS focusing on her own constituents... by trying to protect them from your bill.

    July 20, 2011 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  2. Mike D

    I knew there was a reason I liked that lady.

    July 20, 2011 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  3. peter

    It's OK when Republicans blast a Democrat but not OK when a Democrat blasts a Republican. Next thing you know, Republicans are going to claim that it's OK for Democrats to shoulder the burdern of an economic recovery caused largely by irresponsible conservative policies, but not OK for Republicans and their rich not to shoulder the burden. It's OK for the elderly to forgoe services they desperately need if it means that the rich will be a teenie bit less rich than they used to be. The congresswoman may not be acting like a "lady" by your standards, but you are not acting like a "gentlemen" by the standards of most of the country. May your tenure in the U.S. Congress by short.

    July 20, 2011 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  4. Ted

    I hope Americans wakes up from this nightmare called the Tea Party and realize these people have no concept of what MOST Americans want and need from their representative. Next time America, vote them out of office, they have done enough damage, especially fools like West who like to threaten people.

    July 20, 2011 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  5. funnyGOP

    Allen West is a funny guy. It is hard to take a state like Florida seriously when a segment of its population votes in a guy like this. He said she has proven not to be a lady so he won't respect her as one. Well you have kind of proven not to be black guy, so we won't treat you as one. Wait . . . wait . . .that is what you're going for.

    July 20, 2011 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  6. Jen

    The conduct of the congressman should be reason to call for his resignation. If she was a man he wouldn't have made those comments and this goes to show the American People how much bulling goes on in congress. People elected these unprofessional people, and now they are stuck with them. I am ashamed of these idots. They all should be fired or be responsible for their actions and how unprofessional they all have become. Get rid of all of them. What's sad is I heard on the news tonight that one of the "tea party" folks told a reporter that "his president" etc. So it goes to show you how RACIST people are in congress. And, people elected them. Such a disgrace. They get paid well over 100,000.00 to act like this? People wake up! Come election time, GET RID OF THEM!!!!!! They are so toxic!

    July 20, 2011 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  7. Jimbo

    West is an immature, uncouth tea-party nutcase. He shows no respect – calling the Congresswoman 'Debby?' How crass is that, not even using her title? As a newbie, it's clear he's in over his head, that he doesn't give a hang for seniors or disabled folks, and his puny, insecure ego is clearly threatened by a woman who's smarter than he is and more experienced and honest.

    July 20, 2011 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  8. lando

    A black Republliban?????amazing how he aligns himself to the cause of the wealthy at the expense of the poor. Anoither buyers remorse...

    July 20, 2011 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  9. kmp

    Hey West grow a pair it isn't like she said your mama's bald or ugly she called you out on what you and other Republicans are proposing. So go ahead take to Boehner or Cantor but don't be suprised if they would respond like my mother would "take it outside, this is petty".

    July 20, 2011 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  10. BeverlyNC

    Republicans can sure dish it out but they cannot take it. That is why you only see them on FOX "news" because FOX never criticizes them, calls them out for their lies, and for their hate and racism. When someone as honorable and intelligent as Debbie makes a slimeball like West hear the truth about himself – he can't take the truth...so he whines and gets even nastier. Republicans are a bunch of do-nothing liars. West can be nasty now because he won't be back after 2012.
    NO MORE REPUBLICANS in 2012. We need real leaders, not liars, haters, and racists.

    Go get the jerks Debbie! Repubs like West have betrayed the PEOPLE and don't deserve our respect or our votes.

    July 20, 2011 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  11. Aaron

    She disagrees with the guy and he turns all crybaby? These Repubs have been attacking anyone and everything for years with half-truths, spins, and outright lies. Might be that Wasserman Schultz told the truth, and West is afraid his retired constituents might get wind of it. They are trying to balance the budget by hacking into Medicare and Social Security, and the Repubs don't want for the rich to pay the same tax rates as everyone else. The truth is the truth no matter what the little moron West cries out.

    July 20, 2011 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  12. jesse

    Correct me If I'm wrong here, but don't we elect these people because they're SUPPOSED to be above these kinds of behaviours and petty insults? Could have sworn that they were put into office because of their "upright and outstanding" dispositions and cool heads.... apparently I'm wrong maybe?

    July 20, 2011 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  13. ThinkAgain

    " ...your heinous characterless behavior…You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady ..."

    What?!?

    Here's what she said (from the above article): ""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."

    She criticized him; since when is that "heinous" and un-ladylike?!?

    These Republicans are incredibly thin-skinned and incapable/unwilling to accept any criticism ... That's childish, in my book – and indicative of how they would rule should they regain the Senate and the White House: like a tyrannical dictator.

    Last chance I looked, the US is still a democracy with a First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech. Repubs seem to think there's something wrong with that ...

    July 20, 2011 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  14. JohnX

    So the Republican "gentleman" from Florida is " "bringing your actions today to our Majority Leader and Majority Whip." ... The lady is 1) a democrat, not a member of your party, Sir 2) an elected official with a policy disagreement to which she spoke as publicly and in the same forum as you did, Sir 3) was only not "in your presence" because YOU LEFT THE CHAMBER.

    She pointed out why the constituency demographic you both have in common might find your position objectionable. She spoke consistently with her own positions and that of her party. She didn't shoot off a flaming whiney email, promising retribution from the other party's leadership, or a personal vendetta. She didn't say, this is personal.

    You, Mr West, sound ridiculous.

    July 20, 2011 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  15. huxley

    Story doesn't clearly identify which is the republican and which is the democrat. Please don't make me use google so that I can understand your stories, CNN.

    July 20, 2011 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  16. GOP has a tea problem, not a party?

    Congressman West is a one timer kicking and screaming for attention. The Republican leadership should be embarrass. Allen West is unhinged!

    July 20, 2011 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  17. Vosky

    This guy was a "big man" in the army. Hence, one would think that he is a cultured man. Nah! Joining the Republican party has a way of screwing up people's head. This brother should just stop behaving like a hooligan...

    July 20, 2011 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  18. Alex

    First off this is typical left wing scare tactics. Secondly, I am 25 and I feel like this past generation financed this over-reaching government, this huge debt, this left wing agenda on the backs of people of my generation. It's truly sad a single young person votes Democrat. If the Democrats have their way, people of my generation will spend our lifetime paying off their debts.

    July 20, 2011 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  19. rene

    Those ugly Republicans can dish it out but they sure can't take it. Wasserman Shultz was telling the truth abut the GOP's plan to stick it to retirees so that their rich buddies and campaign donors can make more money without paying their fair share of taxes.

    July 20, 2011 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  20. al

    West, get a life.........

    July 20, 2011 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  21. GPC

    I think all in Congress are vile–we need a clean out–vote all out, start over and take this country back. And, while we're at it, balance the budget by cutting politicians' benefits (golden pension plan, special health care, etc.) FIRST–they're the ones who caused this mess and time to hold them accountable.

    July 20, 2011 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  22. mjbrin

    "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!" oh please, he wasn't addressing the congresswoman....there's a spin...

    July 20, 2011 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
  23. Nathanial P

    Wow is this guy serious. He needs to take a class on interpersonal communication and check the attitude at the door, grow some skin and relax.

    July 20, 2011 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  24. maeve

    Wow. West doth protest too much...and then he promises to run and tattle! Talk about "characterless"! This sounds like the cheating boyfriend who accuses his girl of doing everything he's doing before his own bad behavior: depicable, vile, heinous," is thrown in his face.

    July 20, 2011 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  25. Tony 140

    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. Liberals have for years been able to say whatever they want and not be taken to task. Now we have those that will not take it sitting down anymore. This "Rule for Radicals" has been exposed and we all understand it.

    July 20, 2011 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
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