Instead of apologizing for interrupting President Joe Biden while he was speaking about the death of his son and other veterans during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) is doubling down.
Boebert sent out a fundraising appeal to supporters, asking them to "donate today and help us ensure victory."
"When Biden talked about flag-draped coffins I couldn't help but call him out for causing the deaths of 13 brave members of our military who lost their lives because of his gross incompetence during the withdrawal from Afghanistan. We expected bad, but the #SOTU is worse than we ever could've imagined," Boebert wrote in the fundraising email.
During Biden's first State of the Union address, the freshman member of Congress cried out, "You put them there! Thirteen of them!" while Biden was detailing the horrors of toxic burn pits, which have been known to expose military service members to toxic materials that can lead to cancer.
The outburst, a reference to 13 service members who were killed by a suicide bomber last year in Afghanistan, came just as Biden began to mention the death of his son. Beau Biden died of brain cancer in 2015.
"They came home, many of the world's fittest and best-trained warriors in the world, never the same," Biden said. "Headaches. Numbness. Dizziness. A cancer that would put them in a flag-draped coffin.
"I know. One of those soldiers was my son, Maj. Beau Biden. I don't know for sure if the burn pit that he lived near, that his hooch was near, in Iraq and, earlier than that, in Kosovo is the cause of his brain cancer, or the diseases of so many of our troops. But I'm committed to find out everything we can."
Boebert's heckling earned condemnation, though GOP leaders have largely remained silent.
"The president was talking about his dead soldier son. You and @RepMTG were a national disgrace tonight," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) tweeted. "But worse — because you are irrelevant — [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy owns all of this. He won't condemn you because he is a colossal coward."
"I agree with what Sen. Lindsey Graham said. Shut up. That's what he said to them. I think they should just shut up," Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), said. The Republican from South Carolina was seen to mutter, "Shut up" in response to Boebert on Tuesday.
A handful of Republicans have gone further and publicly criticized Boebert for her behavior.
"I watched the #SOTU last night. There were issues I strongly agreed with. There were other issues I strongly disagree with. That's called independent thinking. ... But we can maybe all agree that Lauren Boebert is classless. An embarrassment to the House," tweeted former Virginia Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman.
Spokespeople for McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), and Elise Stefanik (R-NY), chair of the House Republican Conference, did not respond to inquiries from the American Independent Foundation sent Wednesday.
For her part, Boebert continued to criticize Biden and trumpet her outburst, appearing on Fox News Wednesday and writing on Twitter Thursday morning: "13 brave and heroic members of our military died during Biden's botched Afghanistan withdrawal. They deserved to be recognized during the State of the Union speech so I made sure to speak up."
Biden pledged to improve health care for veterans during his address.
The White House released its plan Wednesday, promising to cover care for new rare respiratory cancers, expand access to care for veterans who suffered an environmental exposure, process more disability claims for exposures, and train Veterans Affairs providers to better treat them.
Reprinted with permission from American Independent