/Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez puts Mitch McConnell on notice after teenage campaign supporter appears to choke cutout of her

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez puts Mitch McConnell on notice after teenage campaign supporter appears to choke cutout of her


  • Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York put Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on notice after a photo of several teens posing with a cutout of her image went viral on social media.
  • The photo shows seven males wearing t-shirts in support of McConnell’s 2020 reelection campaign at the Fancy Farm Picnic in Kentucky.
  • The teens in the photo, at least two of whom recently played for the Lexington Christian Academy’s football team, made several gestures with the congresswoman’s cutout — including one who gave it a mock kiss, and another who appeared to choke the cutout’s neck with his hand.
  • In a statement to INSIDER, McConnell’s campaign said the teens were not employed and accused liberals and media companies that “look for every possible way to demonize, stereotype, and publicly castigate every young person who dares to get involved with Republican politics.”

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York put Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on notice after a photo of several teens posing with a cutout of her image went viral on social media.

The photo shows seven teens wearing T-shirts in support of McConnell’s 2020 reelection campaign at the Fancy Farm Picnic in Kentucky. The teens, at least two of whom recently played for the Lexington Christian Academy’s football team, according to school records, made several gestures with the congresswoman’s cutout — including one who gave it a mock kiss, and another who appeared to choke the cutout’s neck with his hand.

“Hey [Sen. McConnell]- these young men look like they work for you,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter. “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.”

BLUYR 2Business Insider/Twitter

The images were taken offline by Monday evening. Two of the teens did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.

In a statement to INSIDER, McConnell’s campaign said the teens were not campaign employees and accused liberals and media of looking “for every possible way to demonize, stereotype, and publicly castigate every young person who dares to get involved with Republican politics.”

“They’re high schoolers and it’s incredible that the national media has sought to once again paint a target on their backs rather than report real, and significant news in our country,” campaign manager Kevin Golden said in a statement.

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Mitch McConnellReuters/Carlos Barria

Golden also noted a similar incident, in which Jon Favreau, former President Barack Obama’s former speechwriter, was previously pictured groping a cutout of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a party.

“[We] in no way [condone] 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 speechwriting staff several years ago.”

The picnic included speeches from lawmakers, including McConnell, and other would-be politicians from both political parties. Other cardboard cutouts of political figures were shown at the event, including Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch; and McConnell.

Some of the teens who posed with Ocasio-Cortez’s cutout were pictured holding cutouts of other political figures. The image was also shared on social media through one of McConnell’s official campaign accounts.

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