Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) forcefully rejected Representative Ted Yoho’s words of repentance on Wednesday after he denied calling her a misogynistic pair of expletives in their argument, declining to apologize for something he claims he never said.
What We Know:
- The pair argued Monday morning outside the Capitol building over their sharp differences of opinion on how to best fight crime. During the exchange, Yoho said Ocasio-Cortez was “disgusting” and “out of [her] freaking mind” for holding such an opinion. Ocasio-Cortez fired back, accusing him of being “rude”. After walking away, Yoho referred to Ocasio-Cortez using a sexist slur, calling her a “f-ing b-tch”.
- On Wednesday, Yoho, Republican of Florida, appeared on the House floor to apologize for the “abrupt manner” surrounding his confrontational run-in with Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York and expressed his regret for injecting “strife” into Congress due to the confrontation. “I rise today to apologize for the abrupt manner of the conversation I had with my colleague from New York,” Yoho stated. “It is true that we disagree on policies and visions for America, but that does not mean we should be disrespectful.” He later added, “The offensive name-calling words attributed to me by the press were never spoken to my colleagues, and if they were construed that way, I apologize for their misunderstanding.”
- Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter in a series of tweets to criticize Yoho’s speech, saying it was not an apology as he was refusing to take responsibility for his actions. She also said Yoho was lying when he described their interaction as a “conversation,” writing, “It was verbal assault. This is not an apology.”
Republican responds to calling a colleague “disgusting” & a “f—ing b*tch” w/ “I cannot apologize for my passion” and blaming others.
I will not teach my nieces and young people watching that this an apology, and what they should learn to accept.
Yoho is refusing responsibility. https://t.co/BKzJa7KUBW
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 22, 2020
– Does not apologize or name any action he did
– Does not accept responsibility
– Lies (this was not a “conversation,” it was verbal assault)
– Distracts by making it abt poverty (ironically)
– Says everyone else is wrong and the incident never happened.
This is not an apology.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 22, 2020
- The confrontation on Monday was reported by The Hill newspaper and stated that Yoho approached Ocasio-Cortez on the Capitol steps and told her she was “disgusting” for suggesting that poverty was driving crime in New York City. After a tense, short exchange, the newspaper said Yoho walked away from her, uttering the vulgar phrase and expletive often used to denigrate women.
- During his speech on Wednesday, Yoho explained the incident by saying he was “passionate about how Americans can rise out of poverty without resorting to lawbreaking” because he himself had experienced poverty. “I cannot apologize for my passion or for loving my God, my family, and my country,” Yoho said.
- Representative Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland and the majority leader, said he hoped that Yoho had learned how to behave in a respectful way. “Mr. Yoho needed no apology for his passion about poverty and for the downtrodden,” Hoyer said. “But he ought to remember and acknowledge that the person to whom he spoke so inappropriately to was one of the strongest fighters in this Congress for those with the least.”
- Ocasio-Cortez received support from a number of other democrats after Yoho’s speech in the House. Representative Jennifer Wexton said “Rep. Yoho’s actions were unprofessional, misogynistic, and bullying. This was not an apology and no one should accept it as one. My colleague needs to take responsibility for his actions—this isn’t it.” Representative Karen Bass, who heads the Congressional Black Caucus, delivered a similar message while appearing on The View. “I know that Yoho apologized today,” Bass said. “We don’t think that’s enough. We’re not finished.”
- Yoho acknowledged using profanity during the exchange but continues to claim that he had not uttered the words like the reporter claims to have heard. Instead, a representative for Yoho used a barnyard epithet to describe what he thought of Ocasio-Cortez’s policies.
- Ocasio-Cortez worked to embrace the insult by remarking on Twitter, “But hey, ‘b*tches’ get stuff done.” Ocasio-Cortez also embraced the insult on Tuesday when she posted a clip on Instagram from the Doja Cat song “Boss Bitch.” She wrote, “You know what we say when fragile men call us b*tches because we stand up for ourselves and other human beings? Shine on, fight for others, and let the haters stay mad.”
Ocasio-Cortez stands strong on her refusal to accept Yoho’s words as she noted that the Republican had not apologized to her directly. “He didn’t even say my name,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter.