The Public Record: Marjorie Taylor Greene Challenges Joe Biden at State of The Union

March 8, 2024
1 min read

The News: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene made headlines during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address by donning a MAGA hat, a red coat, and a white t-shirt that said “Say Her Name: Laken Riley” on it. The spectacle of her appearance not only challenged House decorum, but the hat was a violation of House rules.

The Players: Marjorie Taylor Greeen of Georgia, who represents Northwest Georgia and President Joe Biden.

The Stage: The State of The Union Address.

The Challenge: Greene’s actions and attire aimed to confront Biden publicly on border security policies, specifically referencing the tragic murder of Laken Riley, a point of contention in the immigration debate.

Challenge Accepted, Sort Of: Biden accepted Greene’s Challenge and held up a “Say Her Name” button that Greene had been handing out earlier. Biden made reference to Riley, but didn’t quite say her name, instead calling her Lincoln Riley. However, his words about her showed that he knew the details of Riley’s murder.

The Aftermath: In the aftermath, both Republicans and Democrats claimed a political victory for the moment in the speech. Republicans got to say that Biden didn’t say her name because he got her name wrong, and Democrats got to say he faced down Marjorie Taylor Greene’s challenge head on.

Conversation Starters:

  • Did the fiery exchange benefit Democracy or was it a sideshow?
  • Do you like seeing elected officials conduct themselves in this manner, or would you prefer more decorum?

About The Public Record: This article is part of an ongoing series highlighting statements by public officials called The Public Record, where we present recent quotes and actions of public officials or candidates. You may not be able to attend every public meeting or see every occasion where your representatives speak, but you still have a right to know what your representatives and those who hope to represent you have been saying.

“Because public men and women are amenable ‘at all times’ to the people, they must conduct the public’s business out in the open.” -Charles L. Weltner Sr., former Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court


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