Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) said Thursday he was sticking by the harsh personal comments he made earlier this week in an email to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).

West said he had been "patient" with the congresswoman, who heads up the Democratic National Committee, for some time before lashing out in the incident this week, and had no intentions of apologizing for his words. In an email Tuesday, West called Wasserman Schultz "vile," "despicable" and "not a Lady."

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"I have taken a lot of this," he said, noting that "the people back in my district know that I have been very patient."

Making the media rounds on Thursday, West described the incident triggering the email — an apparent reference to West that Wasserman Schultz made in a speech on the House floor — as the latest segment of "a very ugly history" between himself and the Democrat.

In her floor speech Tuesday, Wasserman Schultz did not name West specifically.

“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. Unbelievable from a member from South Florida,” she said.

When West heard of her speech, he shot off the email, calling Wasserman Schultz "the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives."

"No one apologized" for attacks made on him when he was a candidate for Congress, West said on Fox News Channel’s "America Live."

On conservative Mark Levin's radio show Wednesday night, West referred to a protest Wasserman Schultz organized during his congressional campaign.

Wasserman Schultz sponsored a protest outside the Republican's campaign headquarters in 2010 in support of West's Democratic opponent in that congressional race, according to a report in South Florida's Sun Sentinel from October of that year.

The protest slammed West for writing columns in a biker magazine called Miami Mike’s Wheels on the Road. Wasserman Schultz claimed the magazine contained “degrading, sexist and misogynistic" material, and publicized West's connection.

Progressives "are not used to anyone that says, 'I'm going to fight back against you,' " West told Levin Wednesday. "And that's why all of the sudden you have 4 to 5 websites that went up today saying Allen West hates women."

He mentioned his educated wife and daughters to dispute the misogynist accusation.

"I’m the threat because I’m the guy that got off their 21st-century plantation, and they cannot afford to have a strong voice such as mine out there, reverberating and resonating across this country," he said.

West said he did not plan to apologize for the email or for the language he used in it.

"Not a chance," he said on Fox. "I can be very direct in my language, but so be it."

He also slammed Wasserman Schultz for releasing the email to the public.

Wasserman Schultz said Wednesday following the incident that West, a freshman House member, was under a lot of pressure defending the Republicans' "cut, cap and balance" bill, which passed the House on the same evening that the email incident took place.

"So it's not really surprising that he would crack under the pressure of having to defend that," she told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.

West denied that he had cracked under the pressure, and maintained that he sent the email because he had reached the point where he felt he needed to defend himself.

“I have to protect my personal honor as well as the honor of this nation and that’s why I’m up here to do that," he said.

West said he expected the people in his district would understand he was standing on principle.

West is expected to run in a hotly contested race against Democratic challenger West Palm Beach Mayor Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators unveil sweeping bipartisan health care package | House lawmakers float Medicare pricing reforms | Dems offer bill to guarantee abortion access Republicans amp up attacks on Tlaib's Holocaust comments Overnight Health Care: Biden backs Medicare buy-in | New warnings as measles cases surpass record | House Dems propose M to study gun violence prevention MORE in 2012. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic political action committee Emily's List are already fundraising on West's treatment of Wasserman Schultz.


—Updated at 6:28 p.m.