The Democratic lawmaker from New York said she has no faith House Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene will be punished — because their behavior is condoned by their party.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) unloaded on House Republicans in an interview on MSNBC Wednesday night, accusing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of condoning the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 because he has not punished GOP lawmakers for their role inciting it.
Cortez made the comment after she was asked how Democrats could work with congressional Republicans given 147 of them — including McCarthy himself — voted to overturn Democratic President Joe Biden's win even after the violent insurrection that left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer, and hundreds of others injured.
She responded by saying there are "legitimate white supremacist sympathizers" within the GOP, and that she has no faith that those sympathizers will face any punishment for their actions.
From a Jan. 17 appearance on MSNBC:
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: I actually sense a profound difference between the Republican caucus of last term, the 115th Congress, and the Republican caucus that — of this term, that we are now, what, a few weeks into at this point.
And that difference was that it really felt that last term the Republican caucus was one of extreme fealty to Donald Trump.
There were some that were true believers, and others that simply remained quiet out of cowardice and out of fear of the president's retribution.
But this term, there are legitimate white supremacist sympathizers that sit at the heart and at the core of the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives.
And when you see someone like the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy of the Republican Party respond to white supremacists vitriol coming from his own members, not with censure like they did with Rep. Steve King of Iowa, not with, you know, being stripped of committees, not with any consequence, you have to wonder where — who actually has that power. And it increasingly seems, unfortunately, that in the House Republican caucus, Kevin McCarthy answers to these QAnon members of congress, not the other way around.
And that is something that frankly needs to be said. He said he was going to pull Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene aside after, you know, her comments to Parkland activists and comments saying that Muslim Americans should not fully and freely serve in the House, that they must be forced to swear on a bible, et cetera.
But I've seen Kevin McCarthy pull someone aside before for a 'talking to.' And that representative that i last saw him do that to was Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida. [Yoho, now a former member of Congress, called Cortez a "f***ing bitch" in July 2020.]
And what Kevin McCarthy did was that he pulled him aside to essentially excuse his behavior, to allow it, and to abet it. And actually Kevin McCarthy's lack of holding his own caucus accountable is one major reason why I went to the floor last year to hold Yoho accountable myself.
And so when I hear that Rep. McCarthy is going to pull a member aside who has made white supremacist sympathizing comments, the thing that I think is, what is he going to tell them? Keep it up?
Because there are no consequences in the Republican caucus for violence. There's no consequences for racism. No consequences for misogyny. No consequences for insurrection. And no consequences means that they condone it. It means that that silence is acceptance, and they want it because they know that it is a core animating political energy for them.
And this is extremely dangerous, an extremely dangerous threshold we have crossed because we are now away from acting out of fealty to their president that they had in the Oval Office, and now we are talking about fealty to white supremacist organizations as a political tool.
And for, you know, Republicans that are in that caucus that are unwilling to hold that accountable or to distance themselves from it, we really, really need to ask ourselves what they are evolving into.
Because this is no longer about a party of limited government. This is about something much more nefarious.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.