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CNN panel spars over Biden’s use of ‘illegal’ in State of Union

A panel of pundits on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday argued over President Biden’s use of “illegal” in his address to Congress last week.

Biden responded to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who had given him a pin honoring 22-year-old Laken Riley. She later heckled him over Riley, a Georgia student who police say was killed by a Venezuelan migrant who entered the country illegally in 2022. 

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

Pundits on CNN’s “State of the Union” had mixed feelings about his use of “illegal” and his later retraction of the remarks.

“I’m not as worried about SNL as I’m worried about what Biden told NBC, what he apologized for calling the murder of Laken Riley illegal,” Republican strategist Scott Jennings said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” mentioning “Saturday Night Live’s” parody of Sen. Katie Britt’s (R-Ala.) rebuttal to Biden’s address.

“He had it right in the speech, and then he got bullied by his left flank and to change it. ‘Well, it’s ‘undocumented’ and then even more outrageous, he said, ‘I’m not going to insult people like that because they built the country,'” Jennings added.

Co-host Jake Tapper noted that Biden did “correct himself” before former White House communications director Kate Bedingfield interjected, calling Jennings’ remarks “ludicrous framing.”

“Language is important and Joe Biden is trying to build a coalition of people to get reelected President of the United States. He is trying to bring in a community of people who care about that kind of language. And when Donald Trump, you have somebody who uses language to divide, to sow hate to make people feel unwelcome,” Bedingfield said.

When she suggested migrants are responsible for boosting the U.S. economy, Jennings interrupted, saying, “because of murderers?”. Bedingfield then said Jennings’ comments were “disingenuous.”

“He was not apologizing to a murderer. He stood up at the State of the Union and said this is horrible, it is horrific what happened. And he frankly bested Marjorie Taylor Greene in a very childish effort to try to get to try to trap Biden on the issue,” Bedingfield said.

Source: The Hill

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