His most recent inflammatory remarks have followed his home in the 14th Congressional District of Georgia in the northwest corner of the state and publicity has not been welcomed. “Green defends controversial Holocaust comments” read a banner front-page headline in a newspaper box outside Oakwood Cafe in Dalton.
Green’s political security in the district – where 75% of voters supported former President Donald Trump last November – does not mean that all of his constituents are liking his role as a flamethrower of the GOP Or that they approve recent anti-Semitic comments That she uses to rally her supporters.
In interviews with about two dozen voters in the district this week, some Republicans who voted for the new congressman compared the masked requirements of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the House chamber to target Jews by Nazi leaders Expressed disappointment at his careless comments compared to the works. Holocaust. Some questioned the motives behind Greene’s attention-grabbing maneuvers, saying they were ready to support a different Republican for their seat – though no formidable challenge has yet come to light.
Inside Oakwood Cafe that morning, 78-year-old Phil Neff, who supported Trump, paid for his breakfast amidst the morning commotion. Later, he told CNN that he believed Green was “more interested in himself than serving the community,” but added with a note of resignation: “That’s what people chose.”
“I don’t think she’s helping herself. But from a political standpoint, I think her organization is growing. There’s a lot of money coming from the national market, and that’s why she can be so strong that anyone Can not beat. ” Said Neff, who supported a different candidate in the GOP primary last year. He declined to say whether he voted for Green last November and said he would “consider the opposition” before voting for re-election.
Green’s strong support for Trump in the district, but nervous about his growing profile
Pulling into the historic city of Dalton, about 30 miles southeast of Chattanooga, Tennessee, a large sign proclaims it the “carpet capital of the world”. According to the city’s Visitors Bureau, Dalton and the surrounding area produces 90% of the world’s carpet, and the industry employs more than 30,000 people in Whitfield County alone. But downtown Main Street looks like most others in America: there are coffee shops and florists, restaurants and taverns, pawn shops, boutique clothing and home decor stores, and auto repair shops.
When asked about Green’s growing national profile, Neff said, “I’m more concerned about the poor publicity that Dalton, Georgia is getting.” “Dalton, Georgia, is recognized around the world for carpet development. Most people know it by that. But it is now known by the idea that everyone in Dalton was a supporter of Marjorie Green – and they were not . “
Brandin Parker is a 37-year-old Republican leather worker who works in a downtown store. Standing outside the store on Thursday with a possession on a leash, Parker said he is also concerned about how Green’s comments are shaping perceptions of the GOP and 14th District. Parker voted for Trump in 2016, but dropped the 2020 election because he did not feel he had good options at the top of the ticket.
Parker said, “I think she thinks and says – and of course, she has as many big followers – that people think everyone in the Republican Party feels and thinks that.” She said that she did not understand Green’s call to Nazi Germany. “Wearing a mask is nothing compared to the Holocaust.”
Wayne White, a retired conservative who voted for Green in November, even though he did not support him during the GOP primary, said the Georgia congressional comment was “just not fair.”
Hours before Green’s rally, White said during an interview in Rome, Georgia, “I don’t think anyone should compare anything to the Nazis and the Holocaust. It’s a different world.” “She has been ineffective, and as long as she is equally controversial, she will remain ineffective. She does not get the support of other Republicans.”
Green’s controversy causes problems for GOP nationally and in Georgia
In just a few months of being in Congress, Green has caused major headaches for his party, not only by lobbying his inflammatory criticisms on Democrats, but also by undermining Republican leaders at the GOP convention.
Republican strategists both nationally and in Georgia worry about how their off-the-cuff remarks, as well as their attention to violence and their embrace of conspiracy theories, constantly stop sending messages to other GOP politicians because They are forced to respond to their fringe theories and opinions.
During his Thursday rally with Getz, he took a step further by comparing the Democratic Party to the Nazis during a tangent about the Biden administration’s economic aid policies.
Green has been one of the staunch defenders of Trump’s lie that he won the 2020 election – and his appearance with Getz in Dalton was to show his support for ongoing challenges to Georgia’s results, even if there was no widespread of voter fraud Is not proof.
Voters praise Green for speaking clearly
But just as Republican voters often forgive Trump’s derogatory statements as proof of their authenticity, some voters in this conservative Georgia district praise Greene for his candor.
Robin Deal, who works in human resources and supported Green in 2020, suggested that the Congresswoman’s remarks have been misunderstood.
“I don’t necessarily agree with that statement,” Deal said in an interview with Martin Savidge of CNN in Rome when asked about a comparison between Green’s mask requirements and the Holocaust. “But I agree with his right to say that.”
Deal said, “I believe that as I said, she is the representative of the people, she is speaking as a regular person, not as a politician.”
Joseline Shultes, a 41-year-old nurse who voted for Green and Trump in 2020, said that no one should be compared to Nazi Germany, but argued that Green was raising a valid point about mask requirements.
“It feels like people are getting some rights that they are used to,” Shults said.
Another Georgia voter, Sandra Campbell, said she believes Green and Trump are representatives of “real America”.
Campbell said, “I am a patriot. I love America. People fought for this country, shed blood and died. The time has come for people to return to America.” “And Marjorie Taylor Green, people think she’s outspoken, but she stands up for what’s right.”
Asked what Green meant, Campbell said: “God and country. And that’s what we want for our children, our grandchildren.”
And when asked about Green’s recent comments comparing the mask mandate for the Holocaust, Campbell replied: “Well, you know we’re all incomplete, right?”
Campbell noted, however, that she did not know what Green had said about the Holocaust, but said the comparison might apply to Kovid-19 restrictions and vaccines, which were authorized for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration Has been done.
Rome voter Steve Caracos, who is semi-retired but has worked as a construction contractor, was one of several Republicans who expressed skepticism about some of Green’s comments – but said his support Is likely to continue.
The Georgia congresswoman, she said, “is very vocal like a pitbull.”
“I think that’s what we need on the Republican side,” he said.
He is not comfortable with some of Green’s comments, but this is unlikely to affect his vote.
“I’ll probably vote for him again,” Karakos said. “Because those who make the biggest noise are listening right now.”
CNN’s Martin Savidge and Donnie O’Sullivan contributed to this report.