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.
“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.”