Video Of AOC On Yoho's Insults: 'I Could Not Allow That To Stand' Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., addressed a public confrontation she had with Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., earlier this week. She said her family "did not raise me to accept abuse from men."

'I Could Not Allow That To Stand': Ocasio-Cortez Rebukes Republican For Vulgar Insult

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


It happened on the steps outside the Capitol building - Republican Representative Ted Yoho of Florida and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York had words. And some of the words that Yoho reportedly directed at Ocasio-Cortez cannot be repeated on the radio. NPR's Barbara Sprunt has the story.

BARBARA SPRUNT, BYLINE: The House floor Thursday morning was filled with Democrats standing up for one of their own.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Today, we take a stand for my colleague and friend, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: I rise today in support of my friend and colleague, Representative Ocasio...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: And we will demand respect for Ms. Ocasio-Cortez...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: This is about respect.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #5: It is absolutely unacceptable.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #6: ...Deserves a real apology.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #7: He must apologize.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #8: Enough is enough.

SPRUNT: These comments came after Ocasio-Cortez described an exchange she had earlier in the week with Congressman Yoho.


ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: I was minding my own business walking up the steps, and Representative Yoho put his finger in my face. He called me disgusting. He called me crazy.

SPRUNT: Yoho was apparently referring to the Democrats' recent suggestion that poverty is linked to rising crime in New York City. Ocasio-Cortez said she told him his comments were rude and left. The news outlet the Hill reported that as Yoho walked away, he muttered a profanity and vulgar slur often aimed at women.

Although he did not mention her by name, Yoho apologized on the floor Wednesday for the, quote, "abrupt manner of conversation" he had with his New York colleague. He said he couldn't apologize for his passion over the issue of poverty, having experienced it himself.


TED YOHO: Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I'm very cognizant of my language.


OCASIO-CORTEZ: Having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man.

SPRUNT: Ocasio-Cortez said she's someone's daughter, too.


OCASIO-CORTEZ: My father thankfully is not alive to see how Mr. Yoho treated his daughter. My mother got to see Mr. Yoho's disrespect on the floor of this House towards me on television.

SPRUNT: Ocasio-Cortez said the incident highlights pervasive misogyny in society.


OCASIO-CORTEZ: He gave permission to use that language against his wife, his daughters, women in his community. And I am here to stand up to say that is not acceptable.

SPRUNT: Yoho maintains he did not use profanity when speaking with her. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters he thought Yoho's comments were sufficient.


KEVIN MCCARTHY: When someone apologizes, they should be forgiven.

SPRUNT: McCarthy said it was time to move on.

Barbara Sprunt, NPR News, Washington.

Copyright © 2020 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.