AOC Slams McConnell Campaign's 'Boys Will Be Boys' Defense: 'Boys Will Be Held Accountable for Their Actions'

Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign on Tuesday for invoking the "boys will be boys" defense in response to a Facebook photo of a young group of men wearing "Team Mitch" t-shirts while choking and groping a cardboard cutout of the lawmaker.

"'Boys will be boys.' 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," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Tuesday afternoon, alongside a link to a Daily Beast article titled "McConnell Campaign Responds to Viral Photo of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Cutout Being Groped."

"#WheresMitch on HR8 #WheresMitch on the Charleston Loophole #WheresMitch on the Violence Against Women Act," the 29-year-old congresswoman added in a later tweet. "Boys will be held accountable for their actions, starting with Mitch McConnell. #WheresMitch."

The freshman lawmaker's remarks come hours after she called McConnell out over the photo and accused "Team Mitch" of encouraging the behavior demonstrated by the young men. "Hey @senatemajldr ⁠— these young men look like they work for you. 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?Thanks," she tweeted, alongside the image.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) responds to a question about U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent tweets targeting her and other freshman members of the House of Representatives July 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign's "boys will be boys" defense. Win McNamee/Getty

In response, Kevin Golden, McConnell's campaign spokesperson, argued that the photo was being used to "demonize, stereotype, and publicly castigate every young person who dares to get involved in Republican politics." "These young men are not campaign staff, they are high schoolers," he added.

Golden later denounced the behavior on display in the image in another statement. "Team Mitch in no way condones any aggressive, suggestive, or demeaning act toward life-sized cardboard cutouts of any gender in a manner similar to what we saw from President Obama's speech writing staff several years ago," he said.

Some of the boys in the image, which was shared online with the caption "break me off a piece of that," have been identified as students of Lexington Christian Academy (LCA). The photo was reportedly shot outside of school hours.

"Lexington Christian Academy officials are aware of a photo circulating on social media which includes LCA students attending a recent, non-school event," Dan Koett, a LCA spokesperson, said in a statement. "This matter has been addressed with the students and the families involved."

AOC Slams McConnell Campaign's 'Boys Will Be Boys' Defense: 'Boys Will Be Held Accountable for Their Actions' | Politics