Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) delivered a passionate rebuke Thursday of the vicious language levied against her by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), who was overheard calling the New York lawmaker a “fucking bitch” after a confrontation on the Capitol earlier this week.
“To see that excuse and to see our Congress accept it as legitimate and accept it as an apology and to accept silence as a form of acceptance, I could not allow that to stand,” Ocasio-Cortez said on the House floor.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday when "a decent man messes up he apologizes," adding that she did not need an apology from Rep. Ted Yoho who reportedly called her a "fucking bitch." She said Yoho is showing the world that you can "be a powerful man and accost women." pic.twitter.com/PxvENmsvUZ
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) July 23, 2020
Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks expanded on a pair of tweets she posted within hours of Yoho’s remarks, firing back at the congressman for “refusing responsibility,” after the Florida lawmaker had made gestures at an apology on Wednesday.
“It is true that we disagree on policies and visions for America, but that does not mean we should be disrespectful,” Yoho said on the House floor Wednesday.
Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday that while she was not personally hurt be the congressman’s remarks, she was compelled to speak out about his actions, which she said demonstrated a “culture of lack of impunity, of accepting of violence and violent language against women, and an entire structure of power that supports that.”
The congressman’s loosely veiled apology was made without ever explicitly naming the New York lawmaker. A reporter from The Hill said Yoho confronted Ocasio-Cortez after casting a ballot on Monday.
The congressman was heard calling her “disgusting” and “out of her freaking mind,” for comments she made that drew a link between economic strife among the nation’s poor and an increase in crime during the coronavirus pandemic. After Ocasio-Cortez walked away, the reporter overheard Yoho saying a few steps down, side-by-side with Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX), “fucking bitch.”
The Republican lawmaker denied that he had uttered the “offensive name-calling words” attributed to him by the press, adding if his words had been misconstrued he apologized “for their misunderstanding.”
He added that he would not apologize “for my passion, or for loving my God, my family, and my country.”
Ocasio-Cortez challenged the congressman who used his status as a married man and father to two daughters as an excuse, adding, that these facts alone did not “make a decent man.”
“I am two years younger than Mr. Yoho’s youngest daughter. I am someone’s daughter too,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “My father, thankfully, is not alive to see how Mr. Yoho treated his daughter. My mother got to see Mr. Yoho’s disrespect on the floor of this house towards me on television, and I am here because I have to show my parents that I am their daughter and that they did not raise me to accept abuse from men. ”