Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday slammed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for what she described as a failure to hold the members of his Republican caucus accountable after Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Tuesday shared a racist voicemail containing a death threat following an anti-Muslim attack from Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.).
“People truly don’t understand the scale, intensity, & volume of threats targeting [Omar],” Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet posted on Wednesday morning. “Kevin McCarthy is so desperate to be speaker that he is working with his Ku Klux Klan caucus to look aside & allow violent targeting of woc members of Congress.”
The threat, Omar said, came after Boebert posted a video on social media defending herself following a phone call between the two lawmakers. The phone call, which deteriorated and reportedly ended when Omar hung up on Boebert, came after a video surfaced of the Colorado Republican making an anti-Muslim remark and suggesting the progressive lawmaker may be a terrorist.
“Don’t worry,” caller said on the voicemail Omar played for members of the press corps.”There’s plenty that will love the opportunity to take you off the face of this f—ing Earth.”
Omar called for the House GOP to respond to such “hateful rhetoric.”
“This kind of hateful rhetoric and actions cannot go without punishment. There has to be accountability,” Omar said. “If and when the Republican conference fails to do so, it is going to be our job to do that.”
Statements like Boebert’s and the hateful reaction they can potentially spark, Ocasio-Cortez said, “cannot be ignored.”
“While people toss out clichés like “we condemn all forms of racism & bigotry,” the fact is Islamophobia is far too often tolerated and ignored,” she added. “Bigotry is not made unacceptable by what one says about it, it’s made acceptable based on whether there are consequences for it or not.”
The spat between Boebert and Omar comes as McCarthy also tries to navigate a war of words between members of his own party. Also on Tuesday, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) got into a nasty Twitter fight after Greene pledged support for Boebert and later suggested Omar was “anti-American” and did not deserve an apology.
Ocasio-Cortez is often critical of McCarthy for not condemning actions and words by members of the party’s more conservative caucus who routinely attack her and her allies.
Most recently, she blasted Republican leadership after Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) posted an anime video that was edited to depict him killing her.
“What is so hard about saying that this is wrong? This is not about me. This is not about Rep. Gosar. But this is about what we are willing to accept,” Ocasio-Cortez said during a floor speech at the time. “Now, this nihilism runs deep. And it conveys and betrays a certain contempt for the meaning and importance of our work here. That [what] we do, so long as we claim that it is a joke, doesn’t matter. That what we say here doesn’t matter. That our actions every day as elected leaders in the United States of America doesn’t matter. That this chamber and what happens in it doesn’t matter. And I am here to rise to say that it does.”