New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called out businessman and former political candidate Andrew Yang after he criticized Democrats for helping to oust now-former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Yang questioned why Democrats had voted "along party lines" to end McCarthy's tenure, saying they didn't do so "because they thought it was good for the country but because that’s what they were told to do."
He shared a clip of his earlier appearance on CNN in which he claimed Democrats had only cast their votes because they'd been instructed "to vote in a particular way," adding:
"There was probably a diversity of opinion in the Democratic Party and then the word came out, 'Guys, we're not going to bail out Kevin McCarthy and we're going to vote with [Florida Representative] Matt Gaetz and the hardliners for partisan hearings.'"
"Now what happens next? It's a dice roll. I, as an American citizen, would prefer not to have that kind of dice roll ..."
"We do know that the government runs out of money in 45 days. We do know there are vital priorities like Ukraine aid that are now subject to us having a Speaker."
You can see video of his remarks below.
Shortly afterward, Ocasio-Cortez ripped into Yang on X for his criticisms, and highlighted why not stepping in to save McCarthy was the absolute correct decision:
"Yes, because strengthening someone who voted to overturn the election, held the entire US economy hostage, launched a baseless impeachment inquiry without a vote, and refuses to honor his word is what is in the best interest of this country."
"Do some of you hear yourselves?"
You can see her post below.
Many echoed the Congresswoman's sentiments.
Others criticized Yang directly.
Gaetz, who initiated the "motion to vacate" leading to McCarthy's removal, acknowledged the possibility of an outsider campaign for the speakership. He expressed willingness to support current members of Congress for the role but did not rule out considering individuals outside the body.
The chain of events began when Gaetz objected to McCarthy's handling of a stopgap spending bill to avert a government shutdown. The bill ultimately passed with bipartisan support, prompting the vote against McCarthy. Notably, McCarthy is the first House Speaker to be removed by their colleagues, with eight other Republicans and all House Democrats voting for his ouster.
The final vote count stood at 216 members in favor of removing McCarthy, with 210 opposed.
McCarthy set this all in motion by reducing the number of members who could initiate a motion to vacate down to 1, which was a concession to Gaetz in order to win his support to be Speaker in the first place.
Then, after Democrats joined McCarthy in voting for a 45-day continuing resolution to temporarily fund the government, McCarthy went on the Sunday shows to bash Democrats, blaming them for the brinkmanship that led to the funding crisis in the first place, when they were the ones who saved him.
They were not willing to save him again after that.