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Social media users could be excused for raising their eyebrows at recent posts from President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
On July 18, posts on Twitter and TikTok offered video of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. — one of Biden’s most outspoken critics — seemingly saying nice things about several elements of Biden’s agenda and comparing him with two former Democratic presidents who accomplished far-reaching goals in office, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Here’s what Greene said, according to the pro-Biden posts:
"Joe Biden had the largest public investment in social infrastructure and environmental programs that is actually finishing what FDR started, that LBJ expanded on, and Joe Biden is attempting to complete. Programs to address education, medical care, urban problems, rural poverty, transportation, Medicare, Medicaid, labor unions. And he still is working on it."
Biden’s caption said, "I approve this message."
The Twitter video has been viewed more than 40 million times. But is it a fair portrayal of what Greene said?
Greene’s comments are out of order but are drawn from the same general section of her July 16 speech at the Turning Point Action Conference, a gathering for young conservatives.
Here’s what she actually said:
"It does not portray the tone and intent of the speech that was bitterly critical of the president," said Al Tompkins, a former senior faculty member at the Poynter Institute, about Biden’s video. (Poynter is the parent organization of PolitiFact.) It is a "gotcha," he said.
We reached out to Biden’s campaign and Greene’s office but heard back from neither.
This splicing does not completely change what Greene said, but it omits that she framed this agenda as "socialism."
Greene teed up that section of the speech by saying, "Lyndon B. Johnson is very similar to Joe Biden. How are they the same? They're both Democrat socialist." And she closed the section quoted in Biden’s posts by repeating the word, "socialism."
Biden has previously pushed back against Republican claims that he’s socialist by emphasizing that he’s a capitalist. We gave then-President Donald Trump a False when he accused Biden of being a socialist in 2020.
Beyond removing Greene’s "socialist" criticism, Biden’s posts ignore that the rest of her comments are highly negative about him, his party, and his supporters.
Early in her speech, Greene offers 16 one-liners all starting with, "You might be a pedophile if…" They variously attack Democrats, liberals, and Biden himself, and one targets physicians who offer gender-affirming care.
PolitiFact has previously debunked some of the claims Greene made, including ones about Target selling "tuck-friendly" bathing suits; about Biden allegedly sniffing strangers’ children; and about students being forced to read a book called "Gender Queer."
Later in the speech, Greene makes extended remarks about how the United States should not be involved in the war in Ukraine.
This is part of her comparison of Biden with Johnson: In office, Johnson increased the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War. Greene said that U.S. involvement in Ukraine, which does not currently involve U.S. troops, will inevitably cross over into U.S. boots on the ground defending Ukraine.
Joe Biden, tweet, July 18, 2023
Democratic National Committee, TikTok post, July 18, 2023
Video of Marjorie Taylor Greene’s remarks at a Turning Point conference
Transcript of Marjorie Taylor Greene’s remarks at a Turning Point conference
Email interview with Al Tompkins, senior faculty member at the Poynter Institute, July 19, 2023