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Dear Debbie, you're 'vile, unprofessional, despicable & not a lady' -- Allen West

Tea Party hothead Allen West blew up at fellow Broward U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz for her acerbic take on the Republican "cut, cap and balance" plan. Schultz, the Democratic National Committee Chair, all but named West ("the gentleman from Florida") in her criticism of the budget-cutting plan, which she said ruined Medicare and helped "Big Oil and companies that ship jobs overseas."

When he learned what she said (standard liberal/Democratic fare), West promptly trashed her by email, which Politico first obtained:

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)

Wasserman Schultz spokesman Jonathan Beeton said in a statement: "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..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."

Said West's spokeswoman Angela Sachitano: "Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz today took another cowardly cheap shot at Congressman West conveniently after he had just left the House floor speaking on the Cut, Cap and Balance bill. 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.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."

Here's the speech that started it all: