House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy denied his Republican party has “a woman problem,” insisting while the party has “room for improvement,” it’s getting better every day.
McCarthy argued his point with reporters at a news conference Thursday, moments after New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to the House floor to object to a Republican lawmaker’s verbal assault on her.
In an incident witnessed by a reporter earlier this week, Florida Rep. Ted Yoho angrily confronted Ocasio-Cortez and called her names for asserting that higher joblessness and poverty could account for some crime increases. Yoho expressed some contrition this week, but Ocasio-Cortez has rejected it as insufficient.
McCarthy said Yoho made “a mistake,” and should be forgiven.
The Minority Leader was also asked to respond to the criticism of Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney by members of her own Republican party for being disloyal to President Donald Trump following her support of the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, Anthony Fauci.
Asked by a reporter if the two cases represent a growing problem among Republicans with women, McCarthy shunned the idea, saying the party is only improving with the female gender.
“There are more women running in the Republican Party for Congress than at any time in the history of this party. The record was 143, we’re well over 220. So if you want to measure it based upon that, I think we’re improving,” he said.
The issues with Ocasio-Cortez and Cheney come during in an election year in which polls show women lean decisively against Trump, who has a history of mocking women.