Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) took the floor of the House Wednesday morning to deliver what he apparently thought would be accepted as an apology to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for a nasty confrontation Monday on the Capitol steps.
But what he actually said, writes CNN columnist Chris Cillizza, was anything but a genuine apology.
In fact, the CNN headline brands it “a master class in how *not* to apologize.”
And to no one’s surprise, it was rejected by Ocasio-Cortez who says Yoho “accosted” her.
In his brief remarks, Yoho apologized for “the abrupt manner” of the sharp words he aimed at AOC and what he called a “misunderstanding” of his words. But the NY Congresswoman was quick to point out “Yoho’s remarks were not directed to me. He did not mention my name, nor did he acknowledge that I was even involved.”
Furthermore, Yoho denied any “offensive name-calling attributed to me by the press.” And he closed by saying he “cannot apologize” for his “passion” in debating “political disagreement.”
Politico offered video of Yoho’s Wednesday remarks, mischaracterized as a direct apology to AOC.
So what did Yoho really say on Monday?
According to The Hill, after accosting Ocasio-Cortez on the steps of the Capitol building, Yoho berated her over her views on crime, poverty and policing.
She called him “rude” before continuing into the House chamber.
Then Yoho, walking away, muttered “F**king bitch” — loudly enough to be heard by the Hill reporter standing nearby. That reporter is sticking by his story about the sexist slur.
The ongoing dispute underscores the current political chasm that has split Congress, just as it has the entire country.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told reporters on Tuesday that Yoho’s confrontation with AOC was “despicable, unacceptable,” reports Talking Points Memo.
Yoho, Hoyer said, “ought to remember and acknowledge that the person to whom he spoke to so inappropriately was one of the strongest fighters in this Congress for those with the least.”