March 10, 2024

Biden backtracks, expresses regret for calling Laken Riley's accused killer 'an illegal'

Those watching President Joe Biden's State of the Union address on Thursday may have been pleasantly surprised when he described the accused killer of nursing student Laken Riley as an “illegal,” but since then, the commander in chief has bowed to his liberal critics and apologized for the remark, as the Daily Caller reports.

Amid pressure and even a bit of heckling from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Biden loudly referenced Riley's death and though he erroneously referred to her as “Lincoln,” he also referenced her alleged assailant's illegal status, but it was apparently not long before he began to have second thoughts.

Biden takes heat over word choice

Though many conservatives were pleased to hear Biden describe the accused killer accurately during his address, many within the president's own party blasted his choice of words.

As the Associated Press notes, Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said of his statement, “It was an unforunate choice of words, but I think he could easily correct it.”

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) criticized the president as well, adding, “Just like we should not be implementing Republican policy, we should not be repeating Republican rhetoric.”

Another Democrat, Rep. Joaquin Castro added his two cents, saying, “The rhetoric President Biden used tonight was dangerously close to language from Donald Trump that puts a target on the backs of Latinos everywhere.”

Presidential clean-up

Likely in response to that chorus of disapproval from the left flank of his party, Biden soon backtracked on his use of the term during a sit-down with MSNBC's Jonathan Capehart, suggesting that the word “undocumented” would have been a better choice.

“An undocumented person. And I shouldn't have used illegal, it's undocumented,” Biden said.

He went on, “And look, when I spoke about the difference between Trump and me, one of the things I talked about in the border was is the way he talks about vermin, the way he talks about these people polluting the blood. I talked about what I'm not going to do. What I won't do.”

“I'm not going to treat any, any of these people with disrespect,” Biden continued.

Trump responds

During a campaign rally in Georgia on Saturday night, prior to which he met with Laken Riley's parents, Trump blasted Biden for walking back his prior description of the nursing student's accused killer, as the Associated Press notes.

“Joe Biden went on television and apologized for calling Laken's murderer an illegal. Biden should be apologizing for apologizing to this killer,” Trump said, giving voice to a sentiment with which millions of Americans agree.

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