In the image, which went viral on Monday, one of the men in the photo has his arm around AOC’s cardboard cutout and appears to be kissing it. Another looks to be putting his hand around the congresswoman’s neck, as if to choke her. The photo, now deleted, was posted to Instagram with the caption: “break me off a piece of that.”
Hey @senatemajldr - these young men look like they work for you.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 6, 2019
Just wanted to clarify: are you paying for young men to practice groping & choking members of Congress w/ your payroll, or is this just the standard culture of #TeamMitch?
Ocasio-Cortez retweeted the photo to McConnell, who is running for re-election next year, asking if he was “paying for young men to practice groping & choking members of Congress w/ your payroll, or is this just the standard culture of #TeamMitch?”
“Boys will be boys.”— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 6, 2019
Is that also the reason why you’ve chosen to block the Violence Against Women act too, @senatemajldr?
It prevents dating partners w/ records of abuse + stalking women (also an early warning sign from many mass shooters) from obtaining a gun. https://t.co/shWCRmEv60
The McConnell campaign said in a statement that it “in no way condones” the image, but it condemned "the far-left and the media" for writing about the incident.
“These young men are not campaign staff, they’re high schoolers and it’s incredible that the national media has sought to once again paint a target on their backs rather than report real, and significant news in our country,” said Kevin Golden, McConnell’s campaign manager, in the statement.
The picture was taken over the weekend at the 139th Annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Kentucky, a political event attended by both Democrats and Republicans.
One of the young men involved appeared to apologize online, posting a picture of a note-card that says, “I was wrong ... I’m sorry." In his caption, he wrote: “My friends and I sincerely apologize to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, Senator McConnell, to our school, St. Jerome Parish, and our community for our insensitive actions at Fancy Farm this past weekend.”