AOC says she was telling Matt Gaetz the Democratic Party would 'absolutely not' rescue Kevin McCarthy's speakership bid when they were spotted chatting on the House floor

AOC says she was telling Matt Gaetz the Democratic Party would 'absolutely not' rescue Kevin McCarthy's speakership bid when they were spotted chatting on the House floor
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  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was spotted Tuesday chatting with Matt Gaetz on the House floor.

  • She was also seen talking to Paul Gosar, who in 2021 posted an anime clip of himself killing her.

  • Ocasio-Cortez told reporters their conversations regarded the speakership vote.

In a rare display on Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York was spotted speaking with the unlikeliest of her congressional colleagues: Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona.

Ocasio-Cortez was seen Tuesday speaking with Gaetz briefly on the House floor. The conversation between the two came as a surprise, considering how they have clashed and how ideologically different the progressive congresswoman and the House Freedom Caucus congressman are.

Speaking with The Intercept, Ocasio-Cortez said Gaetz told her that House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy — who is vying for the role of House speaker — was trying to convince the GOP he could cut a deal with the Democratic Party to get the job.

In response, Ocasio-Cortez said she told Gaetz that the Democrats would not help McCarthy. McCarthy failed on three separate ballots Tuesday to get the votes he needed to secure the speakership. By the third vote, the number of people voting against him had gone up.

"McCarthy was suggesting he could get Dems to walk away to lower his threshold," Ocasio-Cortez told The Intercept. "And I fact-checked and said absolutely not."

In another turn of events, Ocasio-Cortez was seen sitting next to Gosar and talking to him, nodding, and smiling.

Ocasio-Cortez told Semafor Tuesday that Gosar, too, had approached her to ask whether the Democrats were willing to help McCarthy secure the speakership by exiting the chamber and lowering the vote threshold. Ocasio-Cortez added to Semafor that she told Gosar the same thing she told Gaetz: Her party won't help McCarthy.

The ABC reporter Gabe Ferris also spoke with Ocasio-Cortez about the conversation between her and Gosar. The congresswoman told Ferris she would "never" walk away to clear the path for McCarthy and that she would back Hakeem Jeffries, the leader of the House Democratic Caucus.

In November 2021, Gosar posted a violent anime clip depicting himself killing her. The video prompted Ocasio-Cortez to call Gosar a "creepy member I work with who fundraises for Neo-Nazi groups" and shared a "fantasy video" of himself killing her.

That month, Gosar was stripped of his committee positions by a Democratic-led Congress. He then refused to apologize for posting the video, comparing his censure to Alexander Hamilton's.

Ocasio-Cortez told Semafor that Gosar did not apologize Tuesday for the video during their conversation.

For his part, Gosar joked about the exchange, posting a screenshot of him and Ocasio-Cortez smiling during their conversation.

"So then I says 'The combustion engine was actually a miracle of engineering that people take for granted today,'" Gosar tweeted.

Gosar wrote in a separate tweet Tuesday that he and Ocasio-Cortez were talking "about the problem of the prior speakerships having too much authority and thus minimizing each member's potential contribution to the House debate." The congressman did not say whether he and Ocasio-Cortez agreed on the matter.

AOC's huddles spark intrigue and ire

Ocasio-Cortez's conversations with Gaetz and Gosar sparked intrigue. The liberal Twitter account MeidasTouch tweeted Tuesday that someone should get a lip reader to decipher the conversation between Gaetz and Ocasio-Cortez.

Meanwhile, the conversations attracted the ire of the right-wing congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has broken with her House Freedom Caucus and supported McCarthy's speakership bid.

Rebuking both Gosar and Gaetz, Greene tweeted Tuesday that "making plans with Democrats is not what any Republican should be doing." Greene also expressed concern that Gaetz, Gosar, and Ocasio-Cortez had found something in common in not supporting McCarthy, tweeting: "First Gaetz and Good, now Gosar. They never talk to her."

Representatives for Gaetz, Gosar, Greene, and Ocasio-Cortez did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Meanwhile, the House failed to elect a speaker Tuesday as Republicans voted against McCarthy. This is the first time in a century that the House has not picked a speaker on the first vote.

Voting is now expected to continue Wednesday.

Read the original article on Business Insider