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.
If I understand this correctly an Army Lieutenant Colonel has challenged a woman to a duel. If he can't handle contrary speeches on the floor of Congress maybe he should go get some help.
We need to start canvassing day care centers and preschools for new candidates. Toddlers are more mature than these idiots.
What a baby..
West is my Representative. We've had many conservative Republicans over the years, most fair and honorable. He's not. West is a political thug who arrests those who question him negatively at Town Hall meetings. He only speaks with media who agree with his far right, extremist views. His propaganda, and agenda are Orwellian. He refuses to ever compromise on any issue and even refuses to live in his own district. He's the very worst of American politics
Truth does hurt, Mr. West. Tax the wealthy first.
West is a military psychopath who is no estranger to using intimidation to get his way. This guy is tweaked in the head and you can see it in his eyes. He looks like he is about to go postal at any time and I would not surprise of before the term is over he ends up doing something crazy.
Arrogant, retrograde and pretentious...quite a combination for a freshman Congressman, even by tea party standards.
What a petty little man.
The mlitary allows some people to grow up and mature.
In West's case, it apparently caused him to lock his character at a pre-adult stage.
Someone give West a kleenex and a lollipop...he's having a tantrum.
She had the nerve to call him "gentleman"? Them's fightin' words for Republicans!
West has proven again that he is a total nut case. Talk about unprofessional!
Why are these people acting like children instead working towards solutions? This kind of behavior is the resaon people are fed up with their elected officials.
Allen West is not much of a man. I guess it's true that the truth hurts. What a cry baby, Mr West is going to report her to the Majority Leader and the Majority Whip, what they don't know what is being said on the House floor. If not they are not doing their jobs.
Sounds like the Rep from Florida is an amature thats in over his head. Keep whining...Maybe they'll call you back home.
I live in Florida in DWS's district – many of my friends live in Alan West's district
Allen West is a piece of flotsam that washed up on our shores a few years ago
I think that with the 2012 elections he will washed back out..........
Congressman West needs to grow up and admit that's what the Tea Party wants to do, truth hurts sometimes.
It is unfortunate that West has decided to be so incredibly unprofessional. Leaders – and I mean leaders – frequently call on each other from the House floor to explain their positions. But rather than respond in kind, West issued what appears to be a not so veiled threat. Has the Tea Party gotten so ugly, hateful ,and ideologically driven that they can't even engage in debate and discourse any longer. One-party rule didn't work in the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany – the Tea Party should learn to figure out that they are not the ONLY voice of the American people in Washington.
I did not see any insult towards Mr. West in the statement from Ms. Schultz.
Allan West is a total nut- I don't care what party you support- he's simply not fit to be a member of Congress (And I know that bar is set VERY LOW).
Give it a rest, West.
West is fishing out of his depth.
I like Wasserman Schultz
Wasserman is a close personal friend and self proclaimed admirer of Anthony Weiner....birds of a feather...
"Incredulously?" West should have attacked her English, too.
Talk about over-reaction from West. Don't politicos constantly criticize each other without being in the same room?