House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday said he believes Republican Florida Rep. Ted Yoho should be forgiven for reportedly confronting Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez outside of the Capitol building Monday and calling her a “fucking bitch” as he walked away.
“When someone apologizes they should be forgiven. I don’t understand that we’re going to take another hour on a floor to debate whether the apology was good enough or not,” McCarthy said in a weekly press conference. The comments come after Ocasio-Cortez refused to accept Yoho’s apology Wednesday.
“I will not teach my nieces and young people watching that this an apology, and what they should learn to accept,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Yoho is refusing responsibility.”
Yoho apologized Wednesday on the House floor. In his speech, Yoho repeated what his office told the Daily Caller, denying the comments were said but apologizing for how his conversation with Ocasio-Cortez was handled. (RELATED: Congressman Ted Yoho Makes Statement On House Floor After Reportedly Calling Rep. Ocasio-Cortez A ‘F**king B*tch’)
#BREAKING: @GOPLeader Kevin McCarthy on AOC/Yoho: “When someone apologizes they should be forgiven. I don’t understand that we’re going to take another hour on a floor to debate whether the apology was good enough or not.” pic.twitter.com/YnacmN0Lw7
— The Hill (@thehill) July 23, 2020
“I stand before you this morning to address the strife I injected into the already contentious Congress,” Yoho said. “I rise to apologize for the abrupt manner of the conversation I had with my colleague from New York. It is true that we disagree on policies and visions for America but that does not mean we should be disrespectful.”
“Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I’m very cognizant of my language,” he continued. The Florida Republican also said that he never said “offensive name-calling words” adding “and if they were construed that way I apologize for their misunderstanding.”
“I cannot apologize for my passion, or for loving my God, my family and my country,” Yoho continued.
Yoho was reportedly walking down the steps of the Capitol when he saw Ocasio-Cortez, who was walking to vote on the House floor. Yoho reportedly walked up to her and told her she was “disgusting” for saying unemployment is causing crime rates to soar in New York City, according to The Hill. (RELATED: ‘F**king B*tch’: Congressman Ted Yoho Reportedly Tells Rep. Ocasio-Cortez She’s Out Of Her ‘Freaking Mind’)
During the back and forth, Yoho then reportedly told Ocasio-Cortez: “You are out of your freaking mind.”
To which Ocasio-Cortez responded by saying he was being “rude.”
Yoho and Ocasio-Cortez had already gone their separate ways when the Florida Republican reportedly said “Fucking bitch.”
“That kind of confrontation hasn’t ever happened to me — ever,” Ocasio-Cortez said to The Hill about the interaction. “I’ve never had that kind of abrupt, disgusting kind of disrespect levied at me.” (RELATED: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Calls For National Work Boycott Post-Coronavirus)
Yoho’s office denied The Hill’s reporting, telling the Daily Caller: “Congressman Yoho had a brief member to member conversation on the steps of the Capitol. As you know, these conversations happen frequently when the House is in session. He did not call Rep. Ocasio-Cortez what has been reported in the Hill or any name for that matter.”
“It sounds better for the Hill newspaper and gets more media attention to say he called her a name – which he did not do. It is unfortunate that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is using this exchange to gain personal attention. Instead, he made a brief comment to himself as he walked away summarizing what he believes her polices to be: bullshit,” Yoho’s office continued.
McCarthy met with Yoho on Tuesday to discuss his alleged comments to Ocasio-Cortez.