Democrats are using freshman Rep. Allen West as a fundraising pawn with his feud with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who represents a South Florida congressional district neighboring his.
Sparking West’s email to Wasserman Schultz, who is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, were comments she made after he left the House floor on Tuesday. In part, she said she found it unbelievable that the "gentleman from Florida" would support the "cut, cap, and balance" bill. She described the proposal as Rep. Paul Ryan's plan "on steroies," and alleged that it would hurt Medicare recipients in hers and West's districts.
Story continues below the video of Wasserman Schultz's comments.
West’s emailed message to Wasserman Schultz, in part:
"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 U.S. 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!"
Answering with a volley of its own today was the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which sent a fundraising appeal based on what it described as "hate-filled screed" from West to Wasserman Schultz.
Ironically, Wasserman Schultz's office shrugged off the email Tuesday as partisan politics rather than something personal. But Democratic committee's fundraising appeal letter exhorts donors to "make sure Republicans don't forget this moment."
DCCC Chairman Steve Israel berated West as "disgraceful."
The House eventually passed the cut, cap, and balance plan, 234-190.
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