Florida Republican Rep. Allen West is not backing away from comments he made in an email sent to Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz Tuesday.
West responded to Wasserman Schultz’s criticism of his support for the Republicans’ “cut, cap and balance” proposal by calling her “the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Referring to West without specifically naming him, Wasserman Schultz called his support for the plan “unbelievable for a member from South Florida” because it “would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries.”
West did not mince words in his email response to her, with a copy sent to House leadership. The subject line said it all: “Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz.”
In the email, he welcomed a personal fight and instructed her to focus on her “own congressional district!” (Leaders with Ginni Thomas: Rep. Allen West)
“If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up….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,” West wrote.
“You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!” West added.
Despite criticism, West is not backing down from his comments. Through a spokesperson, the congressman reiterated his initial comments.
“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,” Angela Sachitano, communications director for West, told ABC News. “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.”
Wasserman Schultz brushed off the criticism and chalked it up to political frustration on the part of West.
“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,” Jonathan Beeton, spokesman for Wasserman Schultz, wrote in an email to The Hill.