Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is calling out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after the surfacing of a photo which shows a group of young men in “Team Mitch” T-shirts clutching and trying to kiss a cardboard cutout of her. The men’s caption reads, “Break me off a piece of that…”
The photo went viral after the “Feminist Next Door” Twitter account shared it online, quipping, “future federal judges of America.” Before long, Ocasio-Cortez caught wind of the photo and wasted little time in demanding answers from McConnell as to why his supporters were pictured “groping and choking” her.
On Monday, the freshman congresswoman tweeted at the Republican senator, who is recovering in Kentucky after breaking his shoulder in a fall over the weekend.
Hey @senatemajldr - these young men look like they work for you.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 6, 2019
Just wanted to clarify: are you paying for young men to practice groping & choking members of Congress w/ your payroll, or is this just the standard culture of #TeamMitch?
One of the teens pictured posted an apology note on social media, writing, “My friends and I sincerely apologize to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, Senator McConnell, to our school, St. Jerome Parish and our community for our insensitive actions at Fancy Farm this past weekend.” The other teens appear to have taken their accounts private, while their school said that the incident has been “addressed” with the boys and their families.
In a statement obtained by The Daily Beast, McConnell spokesman Kevin Golden accused the media of trying to “demonize, stereotype and publicly castigate every young person who dares to get involved with Republican politics,” adding, “these young men are not campaign staff, they are high schoolers.”
Ocasio-Cortez found that statement lacking, and once again challenged McConnell’s record.
“Boys will be boys.”— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 6, 2019
Is that also the reason why you’ve chosen to block the Violence Against Women act too, @senatemajldr?
It prevents dating partners w/ records of abuse + stalking women (also an early warning sign from many mass shooters) from obtaining a gun. https://t.co/shWCRmEv60
Ocasio-Cortez was the second female politician to be targeted by “Team Mitch” at Kentucky’s small community of Fancy Farm over the weekend.
Amy McGrath, who is running against the 77-year-old in Kentucky, also took to Twitter on Monday to shame him after his campaign shared a photo featuring a mock cemetery, with one tombstone reading “RIP Amy McGrath.” The photo remains online.
According to McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot, the tombstone was “beyond the pale.”
It's symptomatic of what is wrong with our system. I'm fine with the ordinary rough and tumble of politics, but this strikes me as beyond the pale.— Amy McGrath (@AmyMcGrathKY) August 5, 2019
Critics have decried both images on social media, with many urging McGrath to report the tombstone image to law enforcement.
Because it’s actually a threat on your life and he needs to be reported.— Michaela Watkins (@michaelaWat) August 6, 2019
This is revolting. Where is @senatemajldr repudiating this behavior? Firing these men from his “team”? This isn’t cute or funny. Any suggestion sexual violence towards women is acceptable needs to be firmly rebuked. https://t.co/M3Xydi2TUd— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) August 6, 2019
Updated, 4:20 p.m.: (This article has been updated to reflect Golden’s statement and Ocasio-Cortez’s response.)
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