Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has rejected Rep. Ted Yoho’s (R-Fla.) apology on Wednesday, saying Yoho’s heart simply wasn’t in it after the GOP lawmaker called her a “f**king bitch.”
Yoho apologized Wednesday morning for the “abrupt manner” surrounding his testy confrontation with Ocasio-Cortez outside the Capitol building over sharp differences of opinion in how best to fight crime
After walking away, Yoho had referred to Ocasio-Cortez using a profane, sexist slur.
Under pressure from House leaders in both parties, Yoho took to the chamber floor to apologize for his tone.
“I rise today to apologize for the abrupt manner of the conversation I had with my colleague from New York,” Yoho said. “It is true that we disagree on policies and visions for America, but that does not mean we should be disrespectful.”
While Yoho claimed that his harshest words were never expressed directly to Ocasio-Cortez, he stopped short of acknowledging he said them, referring only to “words attributed to me by the press.”
He then shifted the topic from civility to poverty, arguing that economic hardship is no excuse for criminal activity and that he wouldn’t apologize for his “passion” in thinking so.
“I will commit to each of you that I will conduct myself from a place of passion and understanding — that policy and political disagreement be vigorously debated with the knowledge that we approach the problems facing our nation with the betterment of the country in mind and the people we serve,” he said.
“I cannot apologize for my passion or for loving my God, my family and my country.”
Shortly afterward, however, Ocasio-Cortez noted that Yoho had not mentioned her name and accused him of “blaming others” for his own misconduct.
“I will not teach my nieces and young people watching that this an apology, and what they should learn to accept,” she tweeted.
“Yoho is refusing responsibility.”
According to The Hill, Yoho had approached Ocasio-Cortez on the steps during a vote and lashed out at her for proposing that poverty, unemployment and societal neglect were fueling a recent crime spike in New York City.
Yoho said she was “disgusting” and “out of your freaking mind” for holding such an opinion. Ocasio-Cortez fired back, accusing him of being “rude.”
After the pair had split, Yoho uttered to himself: “F—ing bitch.”
“Rep. Yoho’s actions were unprofessional, misogynistic, and bullying. This was not an apology and no one should accept it as one,” Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) tweeted. “My colleague needs to take responsibility for his actions—this isn’t it.”
Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), who heads the Congressional Black Caucus, delivered a similar message while appearing on “The View.”
“I know that Yoho apologized today,” Bass said. “We don’t think that’s enough. We’re not finished.”