Florida Republican Rep. Ted Yoho apologized to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the House floor this morning for what he called “the abrupt manner of the conversation” he had with her on Monday.
“I rise to apologize for the abrupt manner of the conversation I had with my colleague from New York. It is true we disagree on policy and visions for America but that does not mean we should be disrespectful. Having been married for 45 years with two daughters I am very cognizant of my language,” Yoho said Wednesday.
Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive, said on Tuesday that Yoho called her “disgusting” and “crazy” and pointed his finger at her, and The Hill reported Yoho later called her a “f---ing b----.” Yoho denied that in a statement to NBC, saying he said “bull----.”
Yoho elaborated further on the House floor Wednesday morning. “The offensive name calling words that were attributed to me by the press were never spoken to my colleagues and if they were construed that way I apologize for their misunderstanding,” he said.
In a subsequent series of tweets, the young politician responded, writing in part that "Yoho is refusing responsibility" and "This is not an apology."
Ocasio-Cortez accused her Republican colleague on Tuesday of angrily harassing her outside the Capitol over her progressive views in an encounter that a reporter said ended with the congressman using a sexist slur as he walked away.
The No. 2 House Democrat demanded that Yoho, one of the House's most conservative members, apologize to Ocasio-Cortez, one of the House's most progressive, over Monday's confrontation. A spokesperson for Yoho denied that the lawmaker had used a sexist slur, saying the Florida congressman had instead muttered “bull——” to himself to describe Ocasio-Cortez’s policies.
In a tweet Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez said she had never spoken to Yoho “before he decided to accost me” as they passed each other on the Capitol's outdoor steps during a vote.
"Believe it or not, I usually get along fine w/ my GOP colleagues. We know how to check our legislative sparring at the committee door. But hey, ‘b(asterisk)tches’ get stuff done,” she wrote, using one of the words Yoho reportedly used.
A reporter for The Hill newspaper witnessed the encounter, the newspaper said. According to the news outlet, Yoho approached Ocasio-Cortez and said her recent comments connecting poverty to a crime surge in New York City during the coronavirus pandemic were “disgusting.”
“You are out of your freaking mind,” Yoho added. Ocasio-Cortez told Yoho he was being “rude,” the article said.
The Hill said as the two headed in opposite directions, Yoho uttered the sexist comment “to no one in particular.”