Rep. West blasts Wasserman Schultz as 'despicable' in email

Freshman GOP Rep. Allen West hammered away at fellow Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) on Tuesday with a biting personal attack in which he characterized the Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman as "the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives,” according to various reports.

West was responding to remarks Wasserman Schultz directed toward him on the House floor Tuesday after he'd defended the Republican's "Cut, Cap and Balance" legislation. Democrats have argued that the bill, which would cap federal spending at 18 percent of GDP, would lead to steep cuts in Medicare and Social Security – programs benefiting many South Floridians like those in West's district.

“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,” Wasserman Schultz said, without mentioning West’s name.

The acerbic response from West came in the form of an email, first obtained by Politico.

“Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige," West wrote. “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!”

And he wasn’t done.

“From this time forward, understand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behavior,” West added. “You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!”

The email was also sent to House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFeehery: The next Republican wave is coming Rift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power MORE (R-Ohio), House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorRepublicans eager to take on Spanberger in Virginia Virginia emerging as ground zero in battle for House majority McAuliffe's loss exposes deepening Democratic rift MORE (R-Va.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

The subject line read: “Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz.”