Warnock accuses Republicans of trying to ‘score political points’ over Laken Riley’s death

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) on Sunday accused Republicans of using the death of 22-year-old Laken Riley to “score cheap political” points after she was invoked during President Biden’s State of the Union address.

“I can tell you as a pastor who has done hundreds of eulogies, and presided over all kinds of funerals, there is no grief worse than when nature is tragically reversed and rather than the children burying the parents, the parents have to bury the children. And so it’s unfortunate that in this moment of grief, there are those who are trying to score cheap political points,” Warnock said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“And the fact that they are those who walked away from this bipartisan legislation or at least a chance to debate it and now they’re trying to score political points in the wake of a young woman’s death. That is craven politics at its worst. it’s what turns people away from politics. And I think we can do much better than that. We can secure the border, and we can make sure that we are doing everything we can to make sure our children are safe,” Warnock continued.

As he was making his way into the chamber for Thursday’s State of the Union, Biden was met with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who gave him a pin honoring Riley. She later heckled him over Riley, a 22-year-old University of Georgia student who police say was killed by a Venezuelan migrant who entered the country illegally in 2022.

Biden had pulled out a pin that Greene gave him with Riley’s name on it that many lawmakers were wearing. Many Republicans have used her death as a rallying cry for more stringent border laws in recent weeks.

“Laken Riley, an innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal. That’s right,” Biden said during his address. “But how many thousands of people being killed by legals? To her parents I say, my heart goes out to you having lost children myself.”

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