U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho delivered a half-hearted attempt at an apology on the House floor Wednesday after a reporter heard him use a profane and derogatory language to describe U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after the two congress members had a heated exchange on the steps of the Capitol.
On Thursday, it was Ocasio-Cortez turn to respond.
In an emotional floor speech, Ocasio-Cortez accused the Florida Republican of using his wife and daughters as a shield when he failed to apologize to her for her reportedly calling her a “f---ing b---h.” In his remarks, Yoho noted he had been married for 45 year and has two daughters.
“Mr. Yoho mentioned that he has a wife and two daughters,” Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat said. “I am two years younger than Mr. Yoho’s youngest daughter. I am someone’s daughter, too. My father, thankfully, is not alive to see how Mr. Yoho treated his daughter.”
Yoho said he was sorry for the “abrupt manner of the conversation I had with my colleague from New York” but not for the remark itself. Instead, in a carefully worded statement, Yoho said the reporter who overheard the remark misunderstood the intent.
“The offensive name-calling words attributed to me by the press were never spoken to my colleagues and if they were construed that way, I apologize for their misunderstanding,” Yoho.
He went on to say: “I cannot apologize for my passion.”
According to The Hill, the exchange started Monday with Yoho telling Ocasio-Cortez she was “disgusting” and “out of your freaking mind” for suggesting that poverty and unemployment lead to crime. Ocasio-Cortez said Yoho was acting “rude.” Yoho then walked down the steps and said out loud “f---ing b---h.”
Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday said no members of the Republican Party had reached out to condemn the remark from their colleague. Yoho has represented the Gainesville area in Congress since 2013. He is not seeking re-election this November.
In her floor speech, Ocasio-Cortez also said that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the past used “dehumanizing language” to describe her. She was likely referring to a 2018 campaign event when DeSantis said, “When you look at this girl, Ocasio-Cortez, or whatever she is, I mean she’s in a totally different universe.”
Asked about her comments at a news conference today, DeSantis replied: “Wasn’t that like two years ago? I’m not interested in dealing with that.”