Republican Lies Are Ugly, Cynical, and Wrong

Sen. Katie Britt (R-AL) gave the Republican response to President Biden’s State of the Union address this past week. In her overly dramatized speech, Britt painted a dystopian view of the United States, complete with the country being “invaded” by illegal immigrants, cities rendered unsafe and plundered due to rampant crime, and our economy in ruins, all thanks to an ineffective President Biden.

Unfortunately for Britt, the data does not support her assertions. For instance, crime has decreased nationally during Biden’s tenure in the White House.  FBI statistics indicate that crime is down significantly since Biden took office. Violent crime is down 8% since 2020, and property crime is down 6.3%, the lowest it has been since 1961.

Likewise, despite what Britt and Republicans would have you believe, by nearly every measure, the economy is strong. Inflation is at acceptable levels, unemployment is at record low levels, wages are up, and the stock market has reached record highs.

But what I’d like to focus on is the story Britt told to illustrate what the crisis at our Southern border means for the average American.

Here’s what she said:

“We know that President Biden didn’t just create this border crisis. He invited it with 94 executive actions in his first 100 days. When I took office, I took a different approach. I traveled to the Del Rio sector of Texas. That’s where I spoke to a woman who shared her story with me. She had been sex trafficked by the cartels starting at the age of 12. She told me not just that she was raped every day, but how many times a day she was raped. The cartels put her on a mattress in a shoe box of a room, and they sent men through that door over and over again for hours and hours on end. We wouldn’t be okay with this happening in a Third World country. This is the United States of America, and it is past time, in my opinion, that we start acting like it. President Biden’s border policies are a disgrace.”

Britt claimed that she visited the Southern border in 2023 and spoke to a young woman who had been sex trafficked by drug cartels beginning when the woman was just twelve years old. She was sexually assaulted everyday in a tiny room. Britt intimated that this sexual assault occurred in the United States, although she wasn’t specific. It was a horrible story and Britt blamed it on President Biden’s immigration policies. There’s just one problem. Britt misrepresented the whole story.

The woman Britt was speaking of is named Karla Jacinta Romero. She was truly sexually trafficked by drug cartels. In fact, she testified before Congress about her ordeal, which appears to be where Britt heard her story, not at the border. However, Romero was not sexually assaulted in the United States. Her story took place in Mexico. And it took place beginning in 2004 and ending in 2008, when George W. Bush, not Joe Biden, was President.

Here’s more on Britt’s lies about the sexual assault of Romero:


This isn’t going to make her like TikTok more. #katiebritt #sotu #stateoftheunion #lies #politicians #biden2024 #trump2024 #immigration #traffickingawarenes #mexico #bordersecurity #fyp

♬ original sound – Jonathan M. Katz

Think about the process Britt had to go through to craft this story for her speech. She knew the truth and understood that the story was not reflective of our current border crisis. So, she had to twist the truth, telling the story in such a way that it sounded like she was making her point–that Biden was to blame for the border crisis–when, in fact, the story had nothing to do with either Biden or the border crisis. Britt had to intentionally lie, and she was willing to do it to promote her own political career. It was an ugly, shameful, and dangerous decision.

And keep in mind, Britt was willing to use Romero’s story for political gain at the same time she and her Republican colleagues are pushing to keep people like Romero out of the country. In addition, the GOP is also opposed to allowing victims of rape, like Romero, from ending a pregnancy that results from rape. This is the height of hypocrisy and cynicism.

The type of misinformation Britt foisted on the nation in her speech has become textbook propaganda for Republicans looking to retake power. Sen. Britt knew that the story she was telling was not true and that she was misrepresenting Romero’s sexual assault for political gain. Yet, that didn’t stop her from sharing the story in an attempt to damage a political opponent.

Unfortunately, people who support former President Trump and his MAGA agenda either don’t know or don’t care about Britt’s misinformation. To these people, it doesn’t matter that crime is down, the economy is strong, or that the sexual assault story Britt told isn’t true. They will deny the truth, or ignore it completely, in order for the narrative to conform to their preconceived beliefs. And Britt and the Republicans are only too happy to keep their supporters angry and misinformed in order to keep them within the MAGA tribe.

There is a big difference between political spin and outright lies. What Britt did during her speech involved outright lies. It’s not spin to say crime is up when crime is down. It’s not spin to say the economy is in ruins when it is actually quite strong. And it’s not spin to change the date and location of a sexual assault to make political points.

In 2012, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), as Chair of the Democratic National Committee, lied about presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s position on abortion in a fundraising email the DNC sent out to supporters. Sometime later, she lied about the amount of money Romney had spent on negative campaign ads. The purpose of those lies was to misinform voters and benefit Democrats.

Wasserman Schultz wasn’t spinning these issues. She didn’t misunderstand the issues. She lied. The exact same thing can be said about Sen. Katie Britt. It was wrong when Wasserman Schultz did it and it’s wrong now. Wasserman Schultz was forced to step down as the DNC Chair. Will any Republicans denounce Britt’s lies, or will they, as I suspect, defend and amplify them?


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