New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called out Colorado Republican Representative Lauren Boebert for "elevating anti-LGBTQ hate rhetoric" after Boebert published a tweet in which she offered "prayers" to the victims of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs.
Boebert had earlier called the shooting—which resulted in five deaths and at least 25 injuries—"absolutely awful" and offered "prayers" to the victims and their families, adding:
"This lawless violence needs to end quickly."
Ocasio-Cortez responded shortly afterward and noted that Boebert's tweet rings rather hollow considering she has "played a major role in elevating anti-LGBTQ+ hate rhetoric and anti-trans lies."
Ocasio-Cortez added that Boebert has used her time in Congress to block "even the most common sense gun safety laws," concluding:
"You don’t get to 'thoughts and prayers' your way out of this. Look inward and change."
Indeed, Boebert is one of the most high-profile anti-LGBTQ+ members of Congress, sharing bigoted opinions about members of the Biden administration and even complaining about the existence of drag bars.
Boebert has previously made headlines for homophobic attacks against Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, at one point criticizing him for taking parental leave amid a global supply-chain crisis, saying he was "not working" because he was "trying to figure out how to chestfeed."
She has also suggested opponents of Florida's controversial "Don't Say Gay" law should just "build your own Florida." Boebert claimed that the law protects children from doing "irreversible damage to their bodies," employing anti-trans rhetoric in response to an order from Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott that for a time required state agencies to open child-abuse investigations into families whose children receive gender-affirming procedures.
And of course, Boebert has long opposed comprehensive gun control measures to limit mass shootings.
She was criticized in May after she attempted to use the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 to argue against gun control in the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Boebert, speaking after a gunman murdered 19 children and two teachers, said gun control won't limit mass shootings because “when 9/11 happened, we didn’t ban planes.”
Boebert insisted she wants "our schools secured," to see "our children protected," and for there to be "teachers that can protect themselves and their students," adding all of this can be achieved "without trying to disarm law-abiding citizens.”
Last year, after Kentucky Republican Representative Thomas Massie was criticized for tweeting a family photo in which he and six family members each brandished a military-style weapon in front of a Christmas tree, Boebert responded to Massie's photo with a picture of her four equally armed children.
"The Boeberts have your six," Boebert tweeted to Massie, using a military saying that means, "I've got your back" even though neither politician has military experience.
Given these facts, many have reaffirmed Ocasio-Cortez's criticisms of Boebert.
Ocasio-Cortez has called out Boebert before, notably to assail her and other Republicans who have sought to discredit investigations by the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the January 6 insurrection, the day a mob of former Republican President Donald Trump's supporters attacked the nation's seat of government on the false premise the 2020 general election had been stolen.
Over the summer, as the House Select Committee held hearings into Trump's actions before, during, and after the attack, Ocasio-Cortez criticized Republicans who sought presidential pardons.
Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that Boebert and other prominent right-wingers in the House of Representatives have continued to back the false and disproven narrative the election was stolen despite their own wins in that same election.