Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Marcus Flowers Square Off in Heated Debate
It didn’t take long for the fireworks to start in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District debate between Republican firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and her Democratic challenger Marcus Flowers.
Flowers lit the fuse in his opening by accusing the incumbent Greene of being a Jan. 6 insurrectionist. She demanded a rebuttal.
And for the remainder of the 25-minute event, they frequently tried to talk over each other, a contrast to the usually staid Atlanta Press Club Loudermilk-Young Debate Series held at Georgia Public Broadcasting studio with no audience present.
Even the press were watching from monitors in a separate room, leaving the studio empty except for the candidates, a panel of questioners, a moderator, and a few camera and technical personnel. With no crowd, it is believed the candidates will be less tempted to play to the crowd.
In this heated debate, however, no crowd was no deterrent. Words like “lie,” “liar,” “big lie,” and “lying” got thrown around by both sides.
Greene chided Flowers—whose website features him leaning against a barn and wearing a cowboy hat—for being a man who “wears a hat and doesn’t have a single head of cattle.”
Flowers responded that the hat, which he wore to the press conference afterward to underscore the point, was to honor his grandfather, a sheriff and a farmer.
He said he talks to people every day who feel attacked by his opponent, including children.
“I meet somebody every day with tears in their eyes who says, ‘Please. Get rid of Marjorie Taylor Greene’. ”
Greene labeled the Democratic Party “the party of child abuse” for supporting transgender surgery and medication for children.
“It’s the party that represents ruining children, sexualizing them in school, teaching them anti-white racism and . . . CRT education. And genital mutilation of kids, kids who cannot get a driver’s license … and cannot vote,” she said. “How can you stand there and represent the Democrat party as a father? And do you believe in genital mutilation of children under the age of 18, and in puberty blockers that have severe health consequences? I’ve introduced a bill to ban it and make it a felony to genitally mutilate children. Do you stand by that?”
“That was a lot,” Flowers responded. “God bless you, Marjorie Taylor Greene. If you truly believe that, I’m praying for you. I believe in our democracy. And I believe in standing up for human rights. People say to me every day, they tell me how they’ve been attacked by you. And yes, I’m talking about children. And I’m talking about the LGBTQ community. And I’m talking about seniors. Latinos. Blacks. Women. Every day. This is how she treats people. Treats people who have been under attack. Constantly attacking.”
“I represent and I will always protect children,” Greene said. “And that’s why I [want] to protect … children who just may be confused about their identity. Kids need to grow up. They do not need to have a mastectomy, castration, or take dangerous drugs with serious health consequences. Marcus Flowers represents the Democrat party, and the Democrat Party is the party of child abuse.”
Flowers said more than 75,000 voters “in the last election cycle” voted against Greene. What he meant was unclear as she won the 2020 election with nearly 230,000 votes, to her Democratic opponent’s 77,000. In this year’s primary, only around 58,000 people didn’t vote for Greene, and she alone got more than 72,000 votes, more than all the other candidates, including Flowers, in both parties combined.
Press questioner Josh Roe of Chattanooga WTVC-TV called Flowers on it, noting that Greene got more votes in this year’s primary than she did in the 2020 primary. And in this primary, Roe said, “she still had 13,000 more votes than everybody else. What evidence can you provide, other than anecdotal, that the voters want change?”
“Not everyone votes in a primary,” Flowers responded.
Roe asked Greene a pointed question about her opposition to DACA—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era policy preventing the deportation of illegal immigrants brought here as children, sometimes called “dreamers.”
If that protection goes away, the Dalton area in the district—a center of the nation’s carpeting and flooring industry with thousands of jobs—would lose 10 percent of its workforce, Roe said.
“Be clear with your district: what will actually happen if DACA goes away?” he asked the incumbent.
In response, Greene launched an attack on the border crisis and its downstream effects.
“We have had over 5 million people invade the United States of America since Joe Biden became president,” she charged. “Fentanyl is now the leading cause of death for young people between 18 and 45. And they are using Narcan every single day in Northwest Georgia which, by the way, is not connected to the border of Mexico.” Narcan is a drug used to reverse an opioid overdose.
“Joe Biden and his administration is the greatest business partner to the Mexican cartels that we have ever seen in United States history.”
What she’d do for her district, she said, “is to legislate and vote, so they have a strong economy, and they have job opportunity that will not be stolen by people who are illegally invading our country to steal their jobs.”
Press panelist John Druckenmiller of Hometown Headlines noted that all of Greene’s previous opponents had run unsuccessfully on a platform that boiled down to “I am not Marjorie Taylor Greene.”
“You’re saying the same thing,” Druckenmiller addressed Flowers. “I am not Marjorie Taylor Greene. What is your platform?”
“First and foremost, I’m running [for] Marcus Flowers, not against Marjorie Taylor Greene,” he said. But he almost immediately came back to her: “I got into this campaign because of the events of Jan. 6 and Congresswoman Greene’s participation in that.”
His campaign had knocked on 70,000 doors in Northwest Georgia and had numerous conversations with public officials. “And almost every one of them I’ve talked to, to a person, has said to us Marjorie Taylor Greene is not who they want representing them.”