How Marjorie Taylor Greene Became a Biden Campaign Punchline

As Joe Biden walked into the House of Representatives to deliver his State of the Union speech, he popped his eyes out in mock surprise at the sight of Marjorie Taylor Greene decked out in Donald Trump’s bright red Make America Great Again campaign gear. Within hours, his campaign’s TikTok channel posted the video, saying Biden’s reaction to the far-right congresswoman ”is all of us.”

Two days later, when Donald Trump went to northwest Georgia to campaign in Greene’s home district, the Democratic National Committee plastered billboards along five highways showing Trump’s face next to Greene’s and blaming both for killing a major border funding bill. Biden was in Atlanta that same day and called out Trump’s campaign stop with Greene, saying the company someone keeps “can tell you a lot.”

The Biden campaign has kicked into overdrive trying to pair Trump and Greene in voter’s minds, banking that it could help energize voters who might view her more negatively than the former President. Greene’s a high-profile proponent of the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, and has previously peddled wild conspiracy theories, like QAnon, as well as suggesting that the 9/11 attack was a hoax and that Jewish space lasers are responsible for wildfires. She’s since repudiated some of those claims, but remains a national figure widely regarded as a right-wing firebrand. In Washington, she has risen to a position of influence in the Republican-held House and is currently threatening to try and oust Republican speaker Mike Johnson.

That’s all given the Biden campaign an opening to remind voters just how far from the mainstream sit the views of Trump’s close allies. Greene is “a champion for extremism, a champion for election denialism, and someone who fundamentally is trying to, alongside Donald Trump, tear down the fabric of our democracy,” says Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler. The Biden campaign has tested phrases like “MAGA Republicans” and “MAGA extremists” and found them to be potentially effective messages for swinging moderate Republicans and independent voters toward Biden in November. Greene’s office refused to comment except to ask if the White House planted this story. (It did not.)

When Greene arrived in Congress in 2021, House Democrats then holding the majority stripped her of her committee assignments over online posts made before taking office encouraging violence against Democratic officials. One of Greene’s 2020 campaign ads on Facebook showed her holding a rifle next to images of Democratic congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez above the line “SQUAD’S WORST NIGHTMARE.” She’s said the US should have a Christian government, has called for a national abortion ban as well as defunding the FBI and stopping all immigration for four years. But she’s steadily flexed her power in the caucus and her popularity within the Republican party base, and now sits on the House Oversight Committee, the Homeland Security Committee, and the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. 

In late March, just before the House adjourned for a two week Spring recess, Greene filed a motion to vacate House Speaker Johnson’s leadership position, winding up Republicans for a tense return to Washington in mid-April. Greene objected to the $1.2 trillion spending deal that Johnson hammered out with Democrats to keep the government funded through the end of September. “Why is the Republican speaker doing the bidding of the communist Democrats?” Greene posted on X last month.

The Biden campaign’s TikTok channel roasted Greene’s move against Johnson, posting tweets of her previously praising both Kevin McCarthy’s and Johnson’s ascent to speaker to a breakup tune with the caption: “Don’t get too comfortable sweetheart… I was MTG’s everything once too.”

Contact us at letters@time.com.

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