Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a surprisingly muted response on Biden's conduct with women and girls: 'Not necessarily about right or wrong'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezRep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezScreenshot/ABC News

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a surprisingly muted response to former Vice President Joe Biden's recent comments about women and girls that have infuriated many feminists. 
  • The freshman lawmaker, who's previously expressed her distaste for the 2020 frontrunner's more centrist politics, avoided condemning Biden's actions or his response to women's accusations. 
  • "People tend to interpret these situations as one way or another - is he a bad person or is he a good person? I don't think it's about that," she said. "It's not about right and wrong sometimes, it's just about whether feeling like someone gets it or not." 
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a surprisingly muted response to former Vice President Joe Biden's recent comments about women and girls that have infuriated many feminists. 

The freshman lawmaker, who's previously expressed her distaste for the 2020 frontrunner's more centrist politics, avoided condemning Biden's actions or his response to women's accusations. 

"I don't think voters think he's necessarily guilty of sexual misconduct or anything like that," she said of the accusations by multiple women that Biden has inappropriately touched them. 

But, she added, "I do think there may be some discomfort," mentioning Biden telling a 13-year-old girl's brothers during a campaign stop to "keep the guys away" from her.

Ocasio-Cortez framed the tension around Biden's behavior as part of "cultural evolution we're having as a country" and said it's not about "being punitive." But she added that Biden hasn't "necessarily convinced all women" that he "gets it," and that he doesn't have women voters "locked down." 

"People tend to interpret these situations as one way or another - is he a bad person or is he a good person? I don't think it's about that," she said. "It's not about right and wrong sometimes, it's just about whether feeling like someone gets it or not." 

 

When asked whether Democrats "gave Bill Clinton a pass over his treatment of women" in the 1990s, Ocasio-Cortez replied, "probably," before pivoting to discussing how she's combating the gender pay gap in her own congressional office with a new paid family leave policy. 

Read more: Joe Biden probably won't stop making comments some people find sexist, but it won't necessarily hurt his campaign

"I wouldn't look at this through a partisan lens, I think this is part of the evolution we've been having as a country," Ocasio-Cortez told Karl. 

The congresswoman also didn't take the opportunity to criticize Biden's position on abortion, instead telling Karl she was "encouraged" by Biden's recent reversal on the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortion.

Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly made her support for Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren known. And she argued on Sunday that if Democrats fail to nominate a presidential candidate who is "fighting for true transformational change in the lives of working people," there will be a "very real risk" of re-electing Trump. 

Read more: Ted Cruz just offered to work with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to make birth control available over-the-counter

The Bronx progressive has been more unequivocal in her condemnation of Biden's politics in recent months. In May, Ocasio-Cortez called it a "dealbreaker" when reports emerged that Biden's campaign was taking a "middle ground" approach to combatting global climate change.

"There is no 'middle ground' w/ climate denial & delay. Blaming 'blue collar' Americans as the main opponents to bold climate policy is gas lobbyist 101," she tweeted. "We're not going to solve the climate crisis w/ this lack of leadership. Our kids' lives are at stake."

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