WATCH: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Takes Down Ted Yoho’s Excuses In House Speech
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) took to the House floor on Thursday in response to Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Florida), who apologized “for the abrupt manner of [his] conversation” with Ocasio-Cortez on Monday, during which he called her a “f—ing b—h.”
During his speech, he did not directly apologize to Ocasio-Cortez and denied the fact that he called her abusive terms, despite having witnesses to the incident including a reporter from The Hill. He claimed that as someone with a wife and daughters, he would not have referred to his colleague in such a manner.
“Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I’m very cognizant of my language,” Yoho said in his apology speech.
Ocasio-Cortez, who was planning to “pack it up and go home,” said that she had to respond to that statement.
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“Rep. Yoho decided to come to the floor of the House of Representatives and make excuses for his behavior. And that I could not let go. I could not allow my nieces, I could not allow the little girls that I go home to, I could not allow victims of verbal abuse and, worse, to see that – 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.”
Having lived in New York City and worked in working class jobs, Ocasio-Cortez was not personally hurt by Yoho’s abusive language.
“This kind of language is not new. I have encountered words uttered by Mr. Yoho and men uttering the same words as Mr. Yoho while I was being harassed in restaurants,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
Ocasio-Cortez did not demand an apology from Yoho, and instead took issue with “using women, wives, and daughters as shields and excuses for poor behavior.”
“Having a daughter does not make a man decent,” she said. “Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man. And 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 that we can all move on.”
Closing her speech, Ocasio-Cortez thanked Yoho “for showing the world that you can be a powerful man and accost women” and that “you can have daughters and accost women without remorse.”
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