Rep. Allen West Unloads On ‘Vile, Unprofessional, and Despicable’ Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

By John R Parkinson

Jul 19, 2011 7:15pm

ABC News’ John R. Parkinson (@JRPabcDC) reports:

Rep. Allen West unleashed an scathing email to House leadership to raise his objections to “unprofessional and inappropriate sophomoric behavior” from fellow Sunshine State lawmaker Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, after the Florida Democrat waged what West has deemed as a personal character attack on the House floor today.

“You are the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. 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!” West, R-Fla., wrote in an email Tuesday afternoon. “You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!”

West sent the email to Wasserman Schultz and copied House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and his chief of staff, Jonathan Blyth, after Wasserman delivered a speech on the House floor where she criticized West for backing the Cut, Cap and Balance legislation on the floor Tuesday.

“The gentleman from Florida,” Wasserman Schultz said of West, “who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Unbelievable from a member from South Florida.”

Wasserman-Schultz, who is also the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said that the measure “slashes Medicaid and critical investments essential to winning the future in favor of protecting tax breaks for Big Oil, millionaires, and companies who ship American jobs overseas."

In his typed protest to leadership over the comments, West, a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, did not hold anything back:

“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,” West wrote. “From this time forward, understand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behavior……which dates back to the disgusting protest you ordered at my campaign [headquarters], October 2010 in Deerfield Beach.”

Asked for comment Tuesday evening, West – through a spokeswoman – was unapologetic.

“Congressman West contacted Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz directly, as well as bipartisan House leadership to express his concern with her comments and the low level she has chosen to stoop to attack Congressman West,” said Angela Sachitano, Communications Director for West. “The Congresswoman's actions were unprofessional and cowardly. The constituents in Florida see Congressman West as a true leader and a man of principle while Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz is once again viewed as politics as usual, and her true character sadly shown today." 

A spokesman for Wasserman Schultz shrugged off West’s tirade.

"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," said Jonathan Beeton, communications director for Wasserman Schultz. "As someone who lives in Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz's Congressional district, Congressman West knows that we have hundreds of thousands of seniors in South Florida who have paid into Medicare throughout their lives and now rely on this program to keep them healthy and active. The truth hurts." 

West’s full email, which was first obtained by Ben Smith at Politico, is copied below:

From: Z112 West, Allen
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 04:48 PM
To: Wasserman Schultz, Debbie
Cc: McCarthy, Kevin; Blyth, Jonathan; Pelosi, Nancy; Cantor, Eric
Subject: Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz

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. You are the most vile, unprofessional ,and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. 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!

I am bringing your actions today to our Majority Leader and Majority Whip and from this time forward, understand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behavior……which dates back to the disgusting protest you ordered at my campaign hqs, October 2010 in Deerfield Beach.

You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!

Steadfast and Loyal

Congressman Allen B West (R-FL)

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