After Greene accosted her at the Capitol this week, Ocasio-Cortez told reporters: "I used to work as a bartender. These are the kinds of people that I threw out of bars all the time"

By Sean Neumann
May 14, 2021 02:14 PM
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Marjorie Taylor Greene
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (left) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
| Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images; Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thinks someone needs to cut colleague Marjorie Taylor Greene off.

Speaking with reporters on Thursday, the New York Democrat, 31, said she was familiar with attitudes like the one Greene, 46, displayed earlier this week when the Georgia Republican pursued and yelled after her in a verbal confrontation on Capitol Hill.

But Ocasio-Cortez said that behavior usually came from the drunk patrons she had to toss out of the bars she worked at in New York City before entering Congress.

"I used to work as a bartender," Ocasio-Cortez said, according to The Hill. Referring both to Greene and another Republican lawmaker who accosted her last year, she said: "These are the kinds of people that I threw out of bars all the time."

Her quip comes after tensions between her and the theatrically divisive Greene boiled over.

The Washington Post reported earlier this week that Greene was seen walking after Ocasio-Cortez, one of Congress' most prominent progressives, to "aggressively" confront her.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
| Credit: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty

Greene "shouted 'Hey Alexandria' twice in an effort to get her attention. When Ocasio-Cortez did not stop walking, Greene picked up her pace and began shouting at her," the Post reported, citing two staffers who witnessed the incident.

"You don't care about the American people," Greene shouted, according to the Post. "Why do you support terrorists and antifa?" (Antifa is an umbrella term for a broad array of leftist and anti-fascist groups, some of whom are militant. Ocasio-Cortez, whose progressive politics are often criticized by Republicans, is not affiliated with them.)

The Post reported that Ocasio-Cortez did say something to Greene at one point, though the reporters could not hear her words.

The witnesses said that she could be seen "turning around once and throwing her hands in the air in an exasperated motion."

Greene later told reporters that Ocasio-Cortez was a "chicken" for refusing to debate her on the Green New Deal — a proposal to address climate change that has been championed by Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats.

A spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez told the Post after the altercation that she hoped steps would be taken to ensure Congress will be a "safe, civil place for all Members and staff." 

"For me, this isn't even about how I feel. It's that I refuse to allow young women, people of color, people who are standing up for what they believe, to see this kind of intimidation attempts," Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday.

Elsewhere this week, CNN surfaced a deleted video from February 2019, before Greene was elected, showing her outside Ocasio-Cortez's office taunting and insulting her future colleague as "crazy eyes."

Marjorie Taylor Greene
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
| Credit: Erin Scott-Pool/Getty

When asked Thursday for comment on the dispute, a spokesperson for Greene sent PEOPLE a link to a tweet in which she called Ocasio-Cortez "Ms. Defund The Police" and said the latter wanted "to call the police for security bc she's afraid of debating with me."

Greene, who ran a provocative campaign last year in the style of former President Donald Trump, has confronted Democratic lawmakers before and has a history of incendiary social media activity.

In January, Rep. Cori Bush tweeted that she was moving her office because Greene and Greene's staff allegedly "berated me in a hallway" and "targeted me & others on social media."

In February, Greene mocked Democratic Rep. Marie Newman after Newman, who has a transgender daughter, hung a transgender pride flag next to her door. Greene responded by displaying a sign at her office across the hall: "There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE. Trust The Science."