Rep. Ted Yoho—despite some headlines claiming otherwise—has refused to properly apologize for accosting his colleague, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, outside the Capitol building this week and reportedly calling her a “fucking bitch” as he was walking away. Instead, in a speech on the House floor Wednesday, the Florida Republican offered a string of bizarre explanations—including his supposed “passion,” his love of God, and his role as a father and a husband—that, at best, resembled a half-assed sort-of-apology. Yoho also offered something of a denial, though it wasn’t clear exactly what he was denying.
That deliberate attempt to avoid accountability may have satisfied senior Republicans, but Ocasio-Cortez isn’t letting him get away with it.
“In front of reporters, Rep. Yoho called me, and I quote, ‘a fucking bitch,'” the New York Democrat said in her own speech on the House floor Thursday. “These are the words that Rep. Yoho levied against a congresswoman.”
To be sure, Ocasio-Cortez said, the initial encounter hardly hurt her; as a living, breathing woman in this world, Ocasio-Cortez said that she’s been targeted with violent and sexist language both as a bartender in New York and during her time in Congress. But it was Yoho’s refusal to accept responsibility, and his invocation of his daughters and wife, that prompted her to speak out.
“I do not need Rep. Yoho to apologize to me—clearly he does not want to, clearly when given the opportunity he will not,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I will not stay up late at night waiting for an apology from a man who has no remorse over calling women and using abusive language towards women. But what I do have an issue with is using women, our wives, and daughters as shields and excuses for poor behavior.”
“I am someone’s daughter too,” she 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. 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.”
The whole thing is really worth your time:
"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. I am here because I have to show my parents that…that they did not raise me to accept abuse from men." pic.twitter.com/cf0woHRf58
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 23, 2020