UPDATE: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Thursday delivered a powerful response to Rep. Ted Yoho’s failed attempt to apologize for verbally assaulting the congresswoman outside the Capitol earlier this week.
Speaking from the floor of the House of Representatives, Ocasio-Cortez expounded on the pattern of harassment and dehumanizing language men like Yoho routinely direct toward she and other women around America. “This is not new,” she said, “and that is the problem.”
“Mr. Yoho mentioned that he has a wife and two daughters,” she continued. “I am two years younger than Mr. Yoho’s youngest daughter. I am someone’s daughter, too. 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 toward me on television. I am here because I have to show my parents that I am their daughter, and they did not raise me to accept abuse from men.”
Rep @AOC: "I do not need Rep. Yoho to apologize to me. Clearly he does not want to. Clearly when given the opportunity he will not & I will not stay up late at night waiting for an apology from a man who has no remorse over calling women & using abusive language towards women." pic.twitter.com/XKymFh3Oyf
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 23, 2020
“Having a daughter does not make a man decent,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man. When a decent man messes up, as we all are bound to do, he tries his best and does apologize. Not to save face, not to win a vote; he apologizes genuinely to repair and acknowledge the harm done so we can all move on.”
Original story below.
Two days after allegedly calling Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) a “fucking bitch” outside the Capitol, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) stood before the House of Representatives and attempted to apologize for “the strife [he] has injected into the already contentious Congress” and the “abrupt manner of the conversation [he] had with [his] colleague from New York.”
It didn’t go so well.
After reminding fellow lawmakers that he is a man of his word, Yoho quickly deployed the as-a-father-of-a-daughter card, noting that being married for 45 years with two daughters has led him to be cognizant of his language. But not cognizant enough, apparently, to articulate what exactly he did or didn’t say to Ocasio-Cortez on Monday. Instead, he offered up this bit of word salad:
“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.”
Yoho then spoke at length about how he’s passionate about those affected by poverty and that he “cannot apologize for his passion.”
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 22, 2020
Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t impressed.
“Republican responds to calling a colleague ‘disgusting’ & a ‘f—ing b*tch’ w/ ‘I cannot apologize for my passion’ and blaming others,” she wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Yoho’s reported comments to Ocasio-Cortez came Monday during an exchange on the Capitol steps. According to The Hill, the MAGA friendly congressman called Ocasio-Cortez “disgusting” and said she was “out of [her] freaking mind” for suggesting that the recent increase in violent crime in New York City was due to unemployment resulting from the coronavirus. Ocasio-Cortez responded by calling Yoho “rude,” and, as he was walking away, Yoho allegedly muttered “fucking bitch.”
A spokesperson for Yoho denied he “call[ed] Rep. Ocasio-Cortez what has been reported,” according to ABC News.
Ocasio-Cortez continued to tweet on Wednesday about Yoho’s appearance before the House of Representaties: “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.”
“He didn’t even say my name,” she wrote, finally.
But as Ocasio-Cortez made clear in an Instagram post on Tuesday, she’s not going to sweat what a small-time, Trump-loving congressman has to say about her. In fact, she’s embracing it.
iiiiiiiii am deceased pic.twitter.com/GW32ftkupQ
— Becca Rose (@itsbecrose) July 21, 2020
This post has been updated.