During a Sunday morning interview with ABC's "This Week," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) discussed various topics with Jon Karl. Two areas they focused on: whether or not former Vice President Joe Biden can woo female voters after allegations of sexual harassment and if Democrats gave former President Bill Clinton a "pass" on his treatment of women.
"So, Joe Biden appears to be the frontrunner according to all the polls," Jon Karl said. "Do you think he has sufficiently answered the accusations from women who accused him of in appropriate touching? Does he, in short, does he get it?"
"I think that's something that he has to show the electorate. I think that it is an issue where it's a struggle. I'll be completely honest. I don't think that he has- I wouldn't say that it is an incredibly severe, like I don't think that voters think that he's necessarily guilty of sexual misconduct or anything like that but I do think that there may be some discomfort, especially seeing some clips this week and the week before, telling the 13-year-old, telling her brothers to watch out for her," Ocasio-Cortez explained. "I think there are somethings with female voters that it's just not quite locked down. I think that there's some ways to go but this is all solely cultural evolution that we're having as a country, so I don't necessarily think it's about being punitive in these ways. But I do think, like in all issues and with all demographics and will all electorates, it's not about right and wrong sometimes. It's about what they're feeling, like someone gets it or not."
"I don't think he's necessarily convinced all women," she said.
"I do think that there may be some discomfort," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tells @jonkarl when asked if she thinks Joe Biden gets the allegations of inappropriate touching against him— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 16, 2019
"I don't think he's necessarily convinced all women," she adds https://t.co/jVstG7wcVZ pic.twitter.com/L7MNbAEYIx
The other issue that came forth: were Democrats wrong in how they handled Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
"Do you think Democrats, in hindsight, made a mistake by giving [former President] Bill Clinton a pass all those years over his treatment of women?" Karl asked.
"Probably," she said with a sigh and a defeated look. "You know, I think that, but again, this is- actually, I don't think this is as partisan. I wouldn't look through this as a partisan lens. I think this is part of an evolution we've been having as a country. Women have been historically mistreated. I don't think that's really controversial thing to say."
"Probably," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tells @jonkarl when asked if it was a mistake for Democrats to give Bill Clinton a pass over his treatment of women.— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 16, 2019
"I think this is part of an evolution that we've been having as a country," she adds. https://t.co/jVstG7wcVZ pic.twitter.com/cLQ2Dj3hGo
It's obvious AOC doesn't agree with how the Democrats handled these situations and she's struggling to vocalize it. Either that or she's trying not to tick off Democratic leadership (maybe a combination of both)? She does, however, deserve credit for this one. Republicans have long said that if the roles were reversed and Republicans were accused of treating women the way Biden and Clinton have, the Democrats would be in an uproar. At least Ocasio-Cortez is saying what the average American has thought for quite some time.
Yes, our country has gone through a cultural shift. More and more women have stood up and talked about sexual harassment and assault. The MeToo movement really shifted that conversation and made it socially acceptable to talk about these things in the open. Sexual harassment and assault still took place in the 1990s and 2000s. It just wasn't talked about as freely.
AOC is right on two fronts (and I never thought I'd be saying that): the Democrats were wrong in how they handled Clinton and Biden. Saying, "Well that's just Joe," implies that it's okay for him to act like that because he's always been that way. It doesn't hold him accountable for his actions. It dismisses women who may have felt violated. When the Democrats swiped away the Lewinsky scandal they didn't hold Clinton accountable for being an idiot. They, once again, shrugged their shoulders and said, "Well, that's just Bill."
It's possible both things are accurate. The Democrats were wrong in how they handled both scandals and we've had a cultural change.