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. johnessj

    i see that the lady is more man than u ever be west, in this life time and the next.

    July 20, 2011 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  2. Bill

    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.

    July 20, 2011 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  3. Bart

    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.

    July 20, 2011 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  4. Peter E

    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.

    July 20, 2011 05:25 am at 5:25 am |

    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.

    July 20, 2011 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  6. Sue

    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.

    July 20, 2011 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  7. Jim Klimaski

    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.

    July 20, 2011 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  8. Shannon

    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.

    July 20, 2011 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  9. Mame

    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.

    July 20, 2011 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  10. Dan

    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.

    July 20, 2011 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  11. Joel Miller

    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.

    July 20, 2011 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  12. The Other Dale

    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.

    July 20, 2011 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  13. Donald in CA

    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.

    July 20, 2011 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  14. taylor

    Way to go Debbie, take it to him, now get Mr. Obama to stand up for us.

    July 20, 2011 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  15. OH YEAH?

    I'm going to tell my daddy on you. My daddy can beat your daddy.

    July 20, 2011 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  16. Tony in Maine

    West is a one term aberration unless he can get Katherine Harris to count the votes for him.

    July 20, 2011 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  17. Red Brownson

    Ms. Shultz is a fine lady, outstanding speaker. You go girl!!!

    July 20, 2011 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  18. JustSaying2U

    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.

    July 20, 2011 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  19. DonBeal

    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.

    July 20, 2011 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  20. TheZogNJ

    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.

    July 20, 2011 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  21. Name jeremy@Dallas

    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.

    July 20, 2011 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  22. ted

    seems to me that West got called out for what he was doing. And now he is NOT being a gentlemen.

    July 20, 2011 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  23. Dave

    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.

    July 20, 2011 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  24. Robert

    Seems to me he's learning political theatre 101

    July 20, 2011 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  25. Albo58

    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!

    July 20, 2011 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
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