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. JasonP

    These Republicans sure have some sense of just who in the hell they think they are. That's because they know they have a large portion of this country hoodwinked. I for one can't wait till they get theirs.

    July 20, 2011 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  2. TIGER2

    Congressman West has a problem. He thinks that he can get his way through intimidation and loud talking. He believes that guns are the answer to all the world's problems. He needs to realize that he left the Army and is now member of Congress, not the local rod and gun club. Grow and up and behave like the gentleman you can be!

    July 20, 2011 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  3. Anonymous

    Which cave does West lives in? He claims to be the one who is charged with the responsibility of determining lady-like behavior, we can all conclude that according to his definition; a lady is someone who never challenges him or exposes his hypocritical stance. The most offensive part of his statement is the fact that he will not afford Congresswoman Schultz her due respect as a lady. I hope the seniors and the women from his district are taking notice.

    July 20, 2011 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  4. Floridian

    Lets see, he left the chamber after his turn speaking.Just because he decided to leave does not mean that others can't level criticism. Next time maybe he should stay for the whole time to hear what others have to stay instead of dismissing the importance of any following speaker.

    Next, what she has to say is nothing out of line. You might agree or disagree with what she said but it the rhetoric and criticism was pretty typical of our politics. His response? Well sounds like s hissy fit to me and him trying to bully her the whole you are not a lady, vile, despicable, etc. spiel. Either that or he is incredibly thin skin. His response is nowhere near appropriate.

    July 20, 2011 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  5. ellid

    Wasserman Schultz is right: it is nothing short of disgusting that someone who represents constituents dependent on Medicare and Social Security would vote to gut these essential programs.

    As for West, he's a gutless coward who was forced out of the military for torturing prisoners and should consider himself lucky he's not in Leavenworth for his crimes. He has zero honor, and a very thin skin.


    July 20, 2011 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  6. CarmenSo

    Is there a reason people keep electing Republicans?

    July 20, 2011 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  7. zanny

    What a "donkey" If you can't stand the heat, get out of the fire. Only a moron would not see that this ridiculous attempt and making people think the gop actually has a plan is nothing more than their usual shell game The bottom line is the GOP has been trying to get rid of Medicare and Social Security for years. This joke of a bill is exactly what it will do. Where are the cuts that will be made?? No where in that bill are any specific cuts mentioned It is proof that the GOP have no plan and Mr. West she was right The seniors and working class and poor are the ones who will suffer the most from any cuts because we know there will be no cuts that have any bearing on the rich. We are going backwards here. If they have their way, we will be back to sweat shops and $5 an hour wages.

    July 20, 2011 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  8. CharlieEcho

    Where does Wasserman-Shultz believe relief will come from, the Medicare Fairy? At any rate Cong. West has the fire to represent his people and more. It's time for responsible representation in Washington DC. Ms. Wasserman-Shultz can be vile and vocal and often results to personal vilification.

    July 20, 2011 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  9. Ben

    West is a worthless, wall street journal reciting, no idea pure politician. He brings nothing to the table but his own huge sense of himself.

    July 20, 2011 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  10. bravado in boston

    it's all hooey!

    July 20, 2011 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  11. Magnolialover

    Shorter West:

    "I'M TELLING ON YOU!!!!"

    Man these republicans are thin skinned.

    July 20, 2011 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  12. GonzoinHouston

    My, my, the gentlemen seems a bit touchy. Unduly so, considering the Tea Party's fondness for accusation and hyperbole. This is a preview of 2012 – Democrats attaching republicans for cutting benefits to seniors, republicans attacking democrats for trying to raise taxes. Hmm, Granny's hip replacement or higher taxes on someone else, someone perceived as rich and indifferent?

    July 20, 2011 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  13. AEK

    So, this guy is what, 10 years old?

    July 20, 2011 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  14. Cranky Yankee

    Allen West is nothing more than a waste of groceries and air. He is a sell-out of the highest order and his language, threateneing fights, etc., because HE CHOSE to leave the floor before his colleague had a chance to speak shows the low level street thug he is.

    July 20, 2011 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  15. Angus001

    She is the new Allen Grayson.

    July 20, 2011 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  16. LeeVA

    What kind of thinking is this? He admits in his own speech is support for the cut cap and balance bill, but he takes offense when someone else poits out that he supported it? This guy needs to have his thyroid checked.

    July 20, 2011 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  17. Qev

    This is the same hot head who was "relieved" of his army command for discharging his side arm next to the head of some Iraqi he was "questioning". Politics are obviously NOT the most fitting forum for Mr. West to be working in (WWE perhaps?). I think a restraining order might be in order.

    July 20, 2011 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  18. Henry

    So Mr. West is upset. That is typical for a man who rose through the ranks of Lieutenant Colonel and could get no higher. Probably got stuck there because of his "righteous" mouth. Clearly has to resort to yelling and screaming and acting all indignant. Good reflection of the Republicans who like to yell over everybody, from the backyard picnic to Congress.

    July 20, 2011 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  19. Fair is Fair

    Good for you, Rep. West.

    July 20, 2011 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  20. diogenes

    Perhaps it's me, but I certainly do need see an equivalence in the two statements. While Senator Wasserman's remarks were directed at Senator West's, they were clearly directed at his policy position. Senator West by referring to his colleague as "most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member" of the House, went too far. He clearly is showing once again his lack of respect for the position he holds. It is sad that these days this type of comment is so often spoken by our professional politicians. It debases our government and debases our citizens. And quite frankly it too often used by republicans and particularly those such as West who lean towards the teaparty. Shame on him and shame on us for allowing these people to represent us.

    July 20, 2011 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  21. Jerry

    Yeah, go Mr. West! About time this excuse of a woman (Wasserman) was set straight. Just like her Boss, she keeps lying about what Republicans are trying to accomplish and using senior scare tactics which are unfounded and untrue. She should be ashamed of her self for following the NObama smoke and mirrors tactics. And of course, she has trained her staff expertly in the art of lying and scare tactics.

    Mr. West, I am a life-long Democrat. However, I am very proud of what you are trying to accomplish.

    July 20, 2011 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  22. 'merica ruined by rethugs

    And what if she does say it to your face little Al? What are you going to do??? Try to beat her up like she's some POW? He's so big and bad against women (and men who are tied up). West is pathetic.

    July 20, 2011 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  23. Njfinest2009

    He is embarrassed that she called him out and he is the one acting like a child. What is he the house bully? Grow up Mr. West, you should be feeling nice and stupid right now! LOL

    July 20, 2011 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  24. Jayne

    Whew, Allen West, lay off whatever you're smoking or drinking. You sound like a lunatic.

    July 20, 2011 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  25. Get a job Hippies

    Go Congressman West!!!! Just like the typical democrat that likes to take shots but then runs and hides when the truth is shown.

    July 20, 2011 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
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