Rep. Yoho apologizes for tone of conversation with AOC, says “offensive name-calling words” weren’t spoken to his colleagues

On the House floor on Wednesday, Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., apologized for the “abrupt manner” of an exchange he had with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Monday. Yoho said the “offensive name-calling words” that were quoted in press reports weren’t “spoken to my colleagues.” It was reported that Yoho had a tense conversation with Ocasio-Cortez and then used a profanity after the two walked away.

Video Transcript

TED YOHO: Mr. Speaker, I stand before you this morning to address the strife I injected into the already contentious Congress. I have worked with many members in this chamber over the past four terms, members on both sides of the aisle. And each of you know that I'm a man of my word. So let me take a moment to address this body.

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. 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.

As my colleagues know, I'm passionate about those affected by poverty. My wife Carolyn and I started out together at the age of 19 with nothing. We did odd jobs, and we were on food stamps. I know the face of poverty. And for a time it was mine. That is why I know people in this country can still, with all its faults, rise up and succeed and not be encouraged to break the law.

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. I cannot apologize for my passion or for loving my god, my family, and my country. I yield back.

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