I wonder how hard his arm had to be twisted by the House GOP leadership to get him to do this. Normally it’s an ironclad rule of Trump-era populist politics: You do not apologize, ever.

Especially to a Democrat.

Especially to the most famous hard-left Democrat in the United States.

As you’ll see, Yoho doesn’t apologize for allegedly calling her a “f***ing b*tch,” as a reporter who overheard their conversation on the Capitol steps claims he did as he was walking away. Never happened, he told a local news outlet yesterday:

“It was the word BS. I said it’s a bunch of BS about her policies. And there was two reporters, like I said, at the base of the steps, and I was 25 to 30 feet away. My back was to them. And so they said ‘Well, can you tell us what your conversation was?’ I said, ‘No comment,‘” Yoho told News4Jax…

“I can’t apologize because I didn’t say that [the profanity],” Yoho said. “Could I have handled this differently? Yeah. You know, like I said I could have set up a meeting and say ‘Hey, I’d like to talk to you about your, your policies.’ And, you know, for that, if I’ve embarrassed my constituents, I apologize for that. And we’re going to make a statement on the House floor tomorrow (Wednesday).”

He got called to the principal’s office about it yesterday afternoon anyway after Kevin McCarthy said earlier in the day of the incident, “We think everybody should show respect to one another.”

For McCarthy, I think it was a simple matter of the incident being more trouble than it’s worth. He knew Democrats were planning a “response” if Yoho didn’t apologize, as Karen Bass said yesterday, and he didn’t want to let them and sympathetic commentators drag this out to make some “war on women” hay out of it before November. Republicans have enough problems winning over female voters right now that they don’t need a media passion play starring AOC to deepen the challenge. Best just to have Yoho, who’s retiring in a few months anyway, eat a small dish of crow publicly.

Watching him deliver his speech in the clip, I wonder if he was reading it for the first time on the House floor. Clearly there was some personal input from him or his office, per the passage about him and his wife in the early days of their marriage, but it may be that McCarthy’s office put this together and told him, “Here’s what you’re going to say, Ted.”

That’s followed below by Democratic majority leader Steny Hoyer sounding slightly deflated that he won’t get more mileage out of this episode. He’s careful to praise AOC and get a shot in at Trump just to score whatever few points are left on the board.

Update: I wonder if Hoyer, who called Yoho’s apology appropriate, will feel awkward once he sees this.

Remember, AOC told Yahoo News yesterday that she didn’t hear him call her an F’n B herself. She’s assuming the worst simply to score a political point. Naturally this incident was destined to end in the most ungracious way possible.