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.
i see that the lady is more man than u ever be west, in this life time and the next.
Mr. West is an embarassment to his position. Ms. Wasserman Shultz did not say anything innapropriate about him – she was referring to his vote in the House. It's very common for members of both the House and Senate to leave the floor while others are still speaking. If this is so important to him, West should remain present for such speeches.
West just got tired of the constant lying by Wasserman. cnn probably did not notice the lying because they are in the same boat as Wasserman. Dems equal TAX and SPEND with a heavy dose of lying much like COWARDS. This is the reason why the Dems could not pass a budget for two years.
It is all just political theatre. They all know that they will pass the debt increase. They all know that they will at best give lip service to cutting spending in Social Security, Medicare, and the Pentagon. (together about three quarters of the budget)
All this badmouthing the other side is meaningless. They are just wasting time while continually allowing their own pay to get bigger.
West sounds like a real man...NOT. Grow up little boy. She talked about your lack of good judgement and decision making. All you could do is get personal.
What Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz said hardly warranted calling her "vile, unprofessional, and despicable". People who have such a violent reaction to such a simple statement need to seek some anger-management help! Of course, one should not be surprised at anything that comes from the mouth of a tea partier.
Congressman West's outburst is just an example of the polarization in our government that the puppeteers who are directing the Tea Party want. It moves them closer to their goal of bringing down the United States.
So lets get this straigt, the Congresswoman pointed out West's voting record, and West responded with hate filled personal insults. Stay classy GOP, really! What a disgusting group of people make up the Republican party.
I am from Congressman West's district and am appalled at his PERSONAL attack against Rep Wasserman. Based on the article above Rep Wasserman was calling him on his politics not him personally and he went on a personal attack saying she isn't a lady and he's ready to make it a personal fight. Really? How professional is that? How Congressional is that? This is so typical of the Tea Party. She is correct Mr. West, your district will be sorely hurt by this cap, cut and balance silliness. Why not work on passing realistic measures that will pass both houses instead of wasting our time with foolishness. Yes sir, I am calling your position foolish. Are you going to now say I am not a lady because I have called you out on your political position? I didn't vote for you the first time and just to clue you in West Palm Beach there a lot of people who did that vote for you that won't next time because of your lack of action.
What a baby, I guess the tea party can say anything they like, just don't say any thing about them. Their feelings get hurt.
West is totally out of line. There is nothing cowardly about what Wasserman-Schultz did. She criticized his position directly and openly on the floor of the US Congress in front of the whole world. She is gutsy not cowardly in fact. If West is embarrassed by his tea party politics which mean replacing Medicare with a vastly inferior program, he should change his position.
Why have so many Republicans become such spineless crybabies? It didn't used to be like that – someone could take a shot and give it back. For gosh sakes, Allen, the other rep gives a traditional speech in the most generic tone and you act like she beat up your family members while you weren't looking. You then have the guts to complain about someone not bringing it to your face ... by email? How bold and daring of you! Maybe you can fake a name and post on her blog as well. Geesh, it's no wonder Republicans are considered a laughing-stock these days.
I will never understand who would want a lunatic like west representing them. I guess having a black president have made some folks go crazy. There will be some serious buyer remorse with these tea party congressmen next election.
Way to go Debbie, take it to him, now get Mr. Obama to stand up for us.
I'm going to tell my daddy on you. My daddy can beat your daddy.
West is a one term aberration unless he can get Katherine Harris to count the votes for him.
Ms. Shultz is a fine lady, outstanding speaker. You go girl!!!
Seems Mr. West was exposed as a thin-skinned hypocrite. Of course, he's just a typical Republican: call him out on something and they want to get personal.
Cut, cap, and balance would hit the middle and lower classes the hardest. The Tea Party doesn't want to provide specifics. That would hurt.
I wonder if the Republicans understand that when the government cuts spending, it means that companies get less income which, in turn, causes workers to get laid-off/fired. Government spending cutbacks have to be gradual while the private sector begins to spend for items that will replace the government's cutbacks. Any region that suddenly lost a manufacturer will attest to the damage that a quick pull-out will do to their real estate valuies and the economy of their region.
West,you are a one term Congressman. This is the wrong fight to pick in Florida furthermore with the wrong person. To your stupidity, the bill will never become law but you just exposed yourself.
seems to me that West got called out for what he was doing. And now he is NOT being a gentlemen.
Unfortunately, this what you get with the vast majority of the GOP. These people don't have one ounce of class or regard for anyone but themselves and their simple-minded worldviews. They act like a bunch of spoiled children and they should be treated as such.
Seems to me he's learning political theatre 101
Congressman West is Dimwit Debbie's worse nightmare because he believes in Freedom AND Responsibility! His letter merely put into words what most sane people are thinking when they hear her party hack propagandist drivel!