REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Some of the other representatives who actually encouraged people to threaten members of Congress or tweeted out the location of the Speaker are now telling me to apologize for saying and speaking truth to what happened. These are the tactics of abusers.
HARRIS FAULKNER (ANCHOR): She is not backing down, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in an Instagram post for some 100,000 viewers yesterday addressing calls to apologize for tweeting that Sen. Ted Cruz almost had her murdered in the Capitol riot. In that broadcast she also announced that she is a survivor of sexual assault. Power panel now. Kim Klacik, former Maryland Republican congressional candidate. Harold Ford Jr., former Democratic congressman for Tennessee. Good to see you both. Kim, your reaction.
KIM KLACIK: Thank you. Thanks for having me, first of all. I think it's interesting to see AOC now say, almost a month later, how horrific that day was for her because I thought, you know what, I don't remember her saying this when it happened. And so what I did — I'm not calling her a liar; I'm just showing the contrast — what I did is I went back to her Twitter account, her personal account, and on January 6, I just want to say — read to you what she said verbatim. She said, “I'm OK. Was barricaded in for several hours. I'll tell y'all about that later. For now we must focus on the task at hand: to preserve the integrity of our democracy, hold accountable those responsible for their attempts to subvert our nation's elections and shed our Constitution apart.” Now that doesn't really sound like someone that just feared that this was their last day on Earth, and I think it is interesting because she is only posting it now that people were asking her to apologize. You know, saying that a sitting senator, accusing him of conspiring to murder her is very, very difficult to take, and I think she should apologize, and if she doesn't, hopefully Sen. Cruz will take action and take some legal action.
HAROLD FORD JR.: Well, first, thanks for having me on. I think this whole situation, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the congresswoman as she shared a deep and personal situation in part of her past. I don't think anything she may have tweeted on that day, listening to what Kim just shared, is inconsistent, really. I think — I saw part of the story where she learned that the person that was in her office that was asking “where is she," speaking of the congresswoman, turned out to be a Capitol Hill police officer, if my recollection or my reading of it is correct. I think the other point here to think about is, you know, January 6, what it meant, it was a day in which one of the most important things Congress does, which is to ensure a peaceful transfer of power, and you had a mob come into the United States Capitol. And I think it was even Senate Majority Leader McConnell — then-Senate Majority Leader McConnell — who used those words and said that mob was incited, and I think he directly invoked that President Trump had a role to play with that. I think what we ought to be thinking about now is what happened yesterday in the White House with President Biden having 10 Republicans there trying to find some compromise and move us forward as we deal with COVID and the COVID relief package. And I hope whatever happens between the congresswoman and the senator, that they're able to find some common ground and let us all move on from it, from whatever their disagreement was.
FAULKNER: A New York Post op-ed titled “Obsessing over AOC only boosts her profile and her terrible ideas.” What do you think of when you hear that, Kim?
KLACIK: Now, I don't agree with AOC on anything as far as policy. I do think she has a lot of passion and that's why she's there on Capitol Hill, but I do think it does boost her profile, and I think a lot of things that she does is for attention and she knows that. You know, I wouldn't be surprised if AOC makes money off her social media posts. A lot of people monetize their social media posts, and maybe she does that as well which is interesting, right? Because she is for socialism, but I'm pretty sure she's taking advantage of capitalism as she does with even her T-shirts that she sells, but I do think it helps boost her profile and I wish we wouldn't focus so much on her.
FAULKNER: I can't speak to the issue of the boosting in terms of financial. It may be charitable. I have no idea. But I will see the two of you a little bit later in this hour. Thank you. Great debate.