Ocasio-Cortez blasts Gosar, McCarthy over anime video showing her murder

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezLawmakers coming under increased threats — sometimes from one another Maryland Democrat announces positive COVID-19 test Colorado Democrat latest House member to test positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-N.Y.) made an impassioned call to her fellow House members on Wednesday to censure Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarLawmakers coming under increased threats — sometimes from one another McCarthy says he'll strip Dems of committee slots if GOP wins House Should we expand the House of Representatives? The Founders thought so MORE (R-Ariz.) for posting an anime video that was edited to depict him killing her and swinging swords at President BidenJoe BidenMacro grid will keep the lights on Pelosi suggests filibuster supporters 'dishonor' MLK's legacy on voting rights Sanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown MORE.

In a fervent House floor speech during the debate over a resolution to censure Gosar and remove him from House committees, Ocasio-Cortez implored lawmakers to make clear that they won't tolerate depictions of violence toward members of Congress.

"What is so hard about saying that this is wrong? This is not about me. This is not about Rep. Gosar. But this is about what we are willing to accept," Ocasio-Cortez said.

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Ocasio-Cortez rejected Gosar's claims that the video was "symbolic" of the debate over immigration, arguing that fantasizing about murdering a political opponent still has real-life consequences.

"I have seen other members of this party advance the argument, including Rep. Gosar himself, the illusion, that this was just a joke. That what we say and what we do does not matter so long as we claim a lack of meaning," Ocasio-Cortez said.

"Now, this nihilism runs deep. And it conveys and betrays a certain contempt for the meaning and importance of our work here. That [what] we do, so long as we claim that it is a joke, doesn't matter. That what we say here doesn't matter. That our actions every day as elected leaders in the United States of America doesn't matter. That this chamber and what happens in it doesn't matter. And I am here to rise to say that it does," she continued.

"Our work here matters. Our example matters. There is meaning in our service. And as leaders in this country, when we incite violence with depictions against our colleagues, that trickles down into violence in this country. And that is where we must draw the line, independent of party, identity or belief," Ocasio-Cortez said.

Ocasio-Cortez spoke moments after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat Former acting Defense secretary under Trump met with Jan. 6 committee: report GOP's McCarthy has little incentive to work with Jan. 6 panel MORE (R-Calif.) warned that Democrats were setting a bad precedent and cautioned that Republicans might also censure or take away Democrats' committee assignments if they win back the House majority.

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McCarthy said that "I do not condone violence," but argued that the video didn't merit the punishment being considered on the House floor.

"It is sad," Ocasio-Cortez said. "It is a sad day in which a member who leads a political party in the United States of America cannot bring themselves to say that issuing a depiction of murdering a member of Congress is wrong."

Moments after Ocasio-Cortez spoke, Gosar defended the video and said it "directly contributes to the understanding and the discussion of the real-life battle resulting from this administration's open-border policies."

Gosar also notably did not apologize for the video.

"I do not espouse violence towards anyone. I never have. It was not my purpose to make anyone upset. I voluntarily took the cartoon down, not because it was itself a threat, but because some thought it was. Out of compassion for those who generally felt offense, I self-censored," Gosar said.