Ocasio-Cortez Rejects GOP Colleague’s Apology In Verbal Spat

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This combo shows Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., walks Capitol Hill in Washington, on March 27, 2020, left, and Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., at the Capitol in Washington on March 28, 2017. A top House Democrat demanded an apology Tuesday, July 21, 2020, from Yoho who is accused of using a sexist slur after an angry encounter with Ocasio-Cortez. (AP Photo, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican congressman offered an apology Wednesday for the “abrupt manner” he used in a verbal confrontation with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez but denied aiming a sexist slur at her. Ocasio-Cortez rejected her colleague’s words, saying they were “not an apology” and what she heard was a vulgar slur.

Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., made his remarks on the House floor a day after the freshman New York lawmaker said he’d angrily harangued her outside the Capitol over her linkage of joblessness and some recent crimes.

In an encounter that was witnessed by a reporter from The Hill newspaper, Yoho assailed her for asserting that a recent upsurge in some crimes during the coronavirus pandemic could be linked to poverty and joblessness. The publication wrote that Yoho, one of the House’s most conservative members, used a sexist slur as he walked away from Ocasio-Cortez, one of Congress’ most far-left lawmakers.

“I rise to apologize for the abrupt manner of the conversation I had with my colleague from New York,” Yoho said of Monday’s encounter. “It is true that we disagree on policies and visions for America, but that does not mean we should be disrespectful.”

Echoing an explanation his spokesman made on Tuesday, Yoho said that “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 seemed to suggest his actions were due to his strong feelings about the issue, saying “I’m passionate about those affected by poverty.” He said he and his wife were food stamps when they were young and added, “I cannot apologize for my passion.”

In a series of tweets, Ocasio-Cortez rejected Yoho’s remarks, saying he hadn’t mentioned her name or specified what he was apologizing for.

“Republican responds to calling a colleague ‘disgusting’ & a ‘f—ing b(asterisk)tch’ w/ ‘I cannot apologize for my passion’ and blaming others,” she wrote. “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, 65, is a member of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus and is retiring in January. In less than two years in Congress, Ocasio-Cortez, 30, has become a progressive lightning rod, clashing with President Donald Trump and other Republicans and at times other Democrats.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Tuesday that he would talk to Yoho and said lawmakers should respect each other. Spokespeople for McCarthy and Yoho did not immediately respond to messages asking if the two men had met.

Several Democrats had sprung to Ocasio-Cortez’s defense, including No. 2 House Democratic leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, who demanded an apology. On Wednesday, Hoyer spoke on the House floor immediately after Yoho made his remarks.

“The apology is appropriate. I hope that Mr. Yoho feels that apology sincerely,” Hoyer said.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. What a stupid country, nobody asked for Aoc to apologize for taking away thousands of jobs Amazon would have brought to the city. It would have pulled out tens of thousands of poverty, but some idiot makes some remark to himself when walking away from a fight. It becomes national news

  2. I witnessed (on TV) people looting and taking Rolex Watches and giant flat screen TVs. In no alternative universe are these items edible and used as food. As a business owner I am livid that this so called Congress member can make such statements.

  3. AOC needs to apologize to America for entering politics. Her absence of knowledge, her audacity to claim expertise in areas where she knows absolutely nothing, and her uncompromised hatred for America disqualify her completely. She accomplishes nothing but making noise. Hoyer felt the apology was good. I hope she gets ostracized by her Democrat colleagues for this brattiness.

    • She was reelected 2 weeks ago with 87%. maybe you should apologize for not understanding 87% of America. Nothing less is expected from a voice of reason. Good reason?

      • She was reelected by fools. Rationalizing terror and viciousness of looters on 5th Ave. These guys did things to spite and smack us. Yet no arrests while Shelly sliver an innocent rich white old family man languishes in a corona prison.

        I sill don’t think we should insult her nut her ideals are dead wrong and foolsih. These guys are thugs and wild manaics. A bunch of monkeys they are

      • So you think that the voters of Queens and the Bronx are typical of the rest of America? Get out of your bubble and actually travel to some other parts of the country, and you’ll see how wrong you are.

      • Um first off she wasn’t reelected she was renominated by the democrat party and won less than 75% of the vote and the 27,500 democrats who voted for her are less than 5% of the districts population in The Bronx and Queens and less than 1/100 of a % of the US population aren’t indicative of the rest of America.

    • Any American can run for office if they are old enough to run for that office.
      Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was elected by the people of her district. If they now are unhappy with her performance, she will lose the next election.
      If you do not like her positions, I wish others would not demonize her.
      By the way, Mr. Archy, would you like to be called a “monkey?” The Jewish people have been called far worse names throughout history.
      Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a living human being. How would you like someone if someone would call you one of the horrible names Jews have been called?

  4. When dovid hamelech apologized he saif I sinned. There was no “but” had he said “but” he would have been killed. The congressman did not apologize. His apology was all about the “but”

  5. How very odd. I was just reading yesterday’s Failing New York Times. In it Mr. Yoho said he did nothing he should apologize for. I wonder what changed in the last twelve hours or so.

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