UPDATE, 7/22/20, 10:30am ET: Rep. Ted Yoho apologized on the House floor for his offensive remarks about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, according to a reporter. Yoho said that he would not apologize, however, for his “passion, loving my God, my family, or my country. ”
Rep Yoho apologizing on House floor right now for nasty remarks to AOC. but says he can't apologize for his "passion, loving my God, my family or my country. "
— Carl Hulse (@hillhulse) July 22, 2020
ORIGINAL: A disagreement about crime turned personal when Representative Ted Yoho (R-FL) suddenly confronted Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on the Capitol steps. In a shocking exchange overheard by a reporter, Yoho reportedly told Ocasio-Cortez that she was “disgusting” and “out of your freaking mind” for recently saying during a Town Hall that poverty and unemployment in New York are what’s driving an increase of crime in NYC.
I never spoke to Rep. Yoho before he decided to accost me on the steps of the nation’s Capitol yesterday.
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*tches” get stuff done. 🤷🏽♀️ https://t.co/WlG3xccwR7
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 21, 2020
The representatives parted after Ocasio-Cortez told him that he was “rude.” When out of her earshot — but not the reporter’s — Yoho reportedly muttered, “f**king b***h.” Upon learning of the offensive comment, Ocasio-Cortez shot back on Twitter. “I never spoke to Rep. Yoho before he decided to accost me on the steps of the nation’s Capitol yesterday,” the congresswoman tweeted.
“Believe it or not, I usually get along fine w/ my GOP colleagues,” she continued. “We know how to check our legislative sparring at the committee door. But hey, ‘b*tches’ get stuff done.” After the story broke, Ocasio-Cortez received an outpouring of support from her male colleagues, who pointed out that they had the same views as the congresswoman, and were never called “b***hes” for it.
“Like @aoc, I believe poverty to be a root cause of crime. Wonder why Rep. Yoho hasn’t accosted me on the Capitol steps with the same sentiment? #shameful,” Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) tweeted. “I have suggested the same thing that @aoc has poverty & unemployment lead to crime. Weird neither Yoho or any other member has ever talked to me that way,” Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) tweeted.
Yoho was upset about comments Ocasio-Cortez made on July 9 during a virtual town hall with the mothers of Eric Garner and Ramarley Graham, two black men killed by NYPD officers. The congresswoman, who represents New York’s 14th district, was asked about the spike of gun violence in NYC this summer. She suggested that the surge in crime was related to economic hardship in the five boroughs stemming from the COVID-19 crisis.
“Crime is a problem of a diseased society, which neglects its marginalized people,” she said. Policing is not the solution to crime. Maybe this has to do with the fact that people aren’t paying their rent and are scared to pay their rent, and so they go out and they need to feed their child and they don’t have money. They’re put in a position where they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry that night.”