Republican Rep. Byron Donalds schooled his Democrat colleague from New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after she took issue with his lack of experience in a bid for the House speaker position.
Donalds fired back Monday at Ocasio-Cortez after her comments about the Florida congressman over the weekend, in which she argued that “he’s only served one term” in the House and accused him of submitting “false evidence” in a Biden impeachment hearing.
“I think it helps to know where all the bathrooms are before you run for the U.S. House of Representatives, personally, and I think it helps to have some real experience in one of most complex legislative bodies in the world before you try to run it,” Ocasio-Cortez told MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan on Sunday.
The next day, Donalds laid out his track record on Fox News’ “The Story” with Martha MacCallum and dismissed Ocasio-Cortez as someone who “doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
“Before I got to Congress, I spent 20 years in the financial industry, something that leadership here on Capitol Hill definitely needs,” Donalds said on Monday.
“Number two, I spent four years in the legislature in Florida. I chair two committees there, and number three, since being here on Capitol Hill, I’ve worked intimately with members of our leadership team and members all through the conference, both appropriators and authorizers to get some of our biggest pieces of legislation accomplished this Congress,” he continued.
“So, with all due respect to Miss Ocasio-Cortez, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. And if the Democrats are this concerned, I would tell my colleagues see what happens if I become your speaker,” he added.
“I think it helps to know where all the bathrooms are before you run for the U.S. House of Representatives, personally.” @AOC jokes when asked about Representative Byron Donalds announcing his run for speaker of the House. pic.twitter.com/kWC1IA0vD3
— The Mehdi Hasan Show (@MehdiHasanShow) October 23, 2023
Donalds is one of several GOP candidates vying for the House speaker seat that was vacated after the ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California and following Ohio’s Rep. Jim Jordan’s failure to get enough votes last week in his third round of floor votes.
For a short time, there was serious speculation about asking former President Donald Trump to step into the role, and Donalds addressed that possibility with MacCallum.
“So, one of the issues that Tom Emmer has is, he’s seen as not a Trump supporter,” the Fox News host said. “His group is pushing back on that. Will the former president endorse you for this position, Congressman Donalds?”
“Well, I talked to the president a couple days ago,” the Florida lawmaker replied. “And I think where the president is, he’s gonna be focused on getting the [presidential] nomination of our party – something I believe he’s well on his way to do. As far as the speaker of the House is concerned, the Republican members, we are gonna take care of that business internally.”
“Well, he endorsed Jim Jordan,” MacCallum noted. “So, is it sort of a concerted decision not to endorse on this round, that maybe that didn’t work out so well?”
“No, not at all,” Donalds responded. “That is actually not the case. Listen, what happened up here with Jim and even with Steve Scalise was really unfortunate. There were a lot of issues between the members. My hope is those things have been worked out and flushed out.”
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