In an interview with The Independent, Doug Griffin, who identified himself as a Republican, said “it was really nasty” for Greene to have timed her antics “in what was a time of reverence.”
“I think she crossed the line,” he said.
Griffin’s daughter, Courtney, died of a fentanyl overdose in 2014, a loss that the New Hampshire father described as the worst pain he’d experienced. The White House invited him to the State of the Union address, where Biden shined a light on the family’s story as he called for a crackdown on fentanyl production and trafficking.
Republicans, unhappy with Biden’s immigration policies at the U.S. southern border, began jeering during the tribute. Someone yelled “Your fault!” while Greene’s voice was heard shouting “It’s coming from China!”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) appeared to shush members of his own party during the exchange.
“I traveled a long way for me and my wife to be there to hear it and [Greene] crossed the line and broke the momentum of the minute,” Griffin said of the lawmaker’s outburst.
Griffin told The Independent he felt the average person might not be aware of the depth of the fentanyl crisis and appreciated the Biden administration’s effort to address it. He called for more funding for grassroots programs and increased efforts at prevention and education.
“We’re losing people because people are uneducated about it,” he said. “I think if I knew then what I do now then I think I could have saved her life.”
Greene repeatedly disrupted Biden with loud outbursts throughout his speech, prompting McCarthy to shush her on several occasions.