DNC Chair and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) is responding to Rep. Allen West’s (R-FL) Tuesday e-mail, in which he attacked her for her criticism of his vote on the House Republicans’ budget proposals. West declared that she has supposedly “proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!” Appearing Wednesday afternoon on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell, Wasserman Schultz said that with West’s position on Medicare, he clearly isn’t able to deal with her response. Also, she noted, West is in fact one of her constituents, rather than living in his own district.
Indeed, considering West’s having built his political career on his time in the military — which ended due to an incident involving the torture of an Iraqi policeman — Wasserman Schultz’s response could possibly be viewed as questioning West’s own vigor and stability.
“Well, I have to tell you I was unfazed by his e-mail. It’s not surprising that given the pressure that the Republicans are facing,” said Wasserman Schultz. “I mean, they’re defending ending Medicare as we know it. Congressman West represents thousands of senior citizens, which is what I was pointing out, and they would face significant increased costs due to the Republicans’ Medicare plan and the Cut, Cap and Balance Bill.
“So it’s not really surprising that he would crack under the pressure of having to defend that.”
Wasserman Schultz then referred to West as “a constituent of mine,” prompting Mitchell to confirm that West lives in her district.
“He actually lives in my district, yes,” said Wasserman Schultz. “As a constituent of mine, I think it’s important for him to understand that when we’re in debate on the House floor, members are gonna go back and forth. If he feels that concerned, and gets that churned up over having to defend his position, then he probably should reconsider his position.”
Mitchell then asked specifically about West’s comment that Wasserman Schultz was “not a Lady” and not due respect.
“I think Republicans like him are under a tremendous amount of pressure,” Wasserman Schultz responded. “They have about the worst position you could have when it comes to making sure that we protect seniors and ensure that their costs don’t go up. Balancing that, instead of what they’re doing, which is championing and protecting millionaires’ and billionaires’ tax breaks.
“And so obviously there was a little bit of heat that was applied in debate on the House floor yesterday, and he doesn’t appear to be able to deal with it. Like I said, he should reconsider his really unacceptable position, particularly as it relates to when you represent thousands of South Florida seniors like we do, so that maybe next time he won’t react so defensively.”
(Note: The U.S. Constitution does not require residency in a district for members of the House of Representatives, only residency in the state.)