Greene did not attend the convention. But when asked about her appeal, more than 20 party activists and officials mentioned her disregard for political correctness and approach to politics as a “Washington outsider.” Many said they appreciate her willingness to say what she believes, even if it is inaccurate or dangerous — the same traits they admired in former President Donald Trump.
“If that were me up there, I’d be doing the same thing. Though she probably does it with more tact,” said Sara Lain-Moneymaker of Chatham County, one of the hundreds of first-time attendees at the convention.
Cooper Jacks, the chairman of the Georgia Teen Republicans and a native of Greene’s north Georgia-based district, was met with a standing ovation after mentioning the congresswoman in his Friday remarks to the convention. The 14-year-old began as a volunteer for Greene’s campaign before becoming a paid staffer. Having followed her around the state with the America First tour — which Greene launched in May alongside embattled Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz — Jacks said a rousing response to her was commonplace.
“She’s very dynamic, very personable. She’s someone who’s different from the typical politician,” he said. “When you go to her district and talk to people about her, they’re going to tell you, ‘we like the job she’s doing.’”
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Washington Republicans who have condemned her comments are part of the problem, her supporters here said. They argue that she, as one of the few on the Hill standing up for their beliefs, should be free to espouse them at will.
Beyond the party’s activist base, there isn’t a universal embrace of Greene’s rhetoric. Some contend she didn’t really mean what she said about the Holocaust comparison, applying the Trump standard to her remarks — she should be taken seriously, not literally.
Others assert that they aren’t familiar with Greene’s remarks.
“I didn’t hear that,” Joe Bohannon, a delegate from Screven County, said of Greene’s Holocaust comparison. But he said he admired her “tenacity.”
Some said they weren’t familiar with her at all. One attendee said of Greene, “Not sure … the author?” (She was thinking of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Yearling.”)
“She’s making waves. I just don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing yet,” said Joel Allen, a party official in suburban Atlanta’s 6th Congressional District. “I like that she’s making waves. I just wish she was a little more controlled.”