Marjorie Taylor Greene and Georgia GOP convention goers sound off about Trump indictment

As the Georgia Republican Party 2023 State Convention opened Friday in the Columbus Convention & Trade Center, the first speaker set the scene.

“We’re not living in normal times,” U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene told the delegates. “We’re not living in a just country run by a just government. We’re living in very dangerous times.”

Greene was referring to the federal indictment of former President Donald Trump, who leads polls among GOP candidates for the 2024 election, compared to the FBI investigation of alleged bribery scheme involving President Joe Biden.

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-GA., speaks Friday afternoon at the Georgia GOP state convention in Columbus, Georgia. 06/09/2023 Mike Haskey/
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-GA., speaks Friday afternoon at the Georgia GOP state convention in Columbus, Georgia. 06/09/2023 Mike Haskey/

“I don’t care how you feel about President Trump,” Greene said. “You need to understand that what they’re doing to President Trump is exactly what they will do to any one of us when they deem us a threat.”

That summarizes the viewpoint the Ledger-Enquirer heard from a sampling of Georgia Republicans attending the convention when they were asked about Trump. Here are highlights from those interviews:

Cliff Rhodes, 45, pharmacist, Bremen, Georgia

Cliff Rhodes. 06/09/2023 Mike Haskey/
Cliff Rhodes. 06/09/2023 Mike Haskey/

Reaction to the Trump indictment: “I think it’s the wrong thing. I think a lot of people are waking up to the fact that we have a two-tiered system of government. We’re starting to realize that a lot of institutions in America like the DOJ, the FBI, CIA, IRS — I could go on with the entire alphabet with our agencies and how they’ve been weaponized towards conservatives. . . . Our government has been overthrown by people that do not like us. A lot of people are saying it’s a Marxist revolution, and I believe it.”

How the Trump indictment will affect his candidacy: “I think it will only help him. A lot of people are seeing that when Trump speaks, he’s speaking the truth. … Especially with conservatives, he’s had our best interests – and everybody’s best interests, including the radical left. Look at his policies. Actions speak louder than words. … Look at his actions instead of what he says. We had lower gas prices. We had a secure border, which is a huge issue with Fentanyl and MS-13. You’ve got human sex trafficking. It’s a mess.”

What he wants to hear from Trump’s speech: “I think it’s a witch hunt. I hope he does touch on that a little bit. … I’d like for him to go into some of his policies too because I think they’re really strong.”

Patricia Kani, 67, retired from IT services, Newnan, Georgia

Reaction to Trump indictment: “When you can indict a former sitting president for nothing, things have got to change, and you need somebody who’s going to fight, and Trump will fight. … The documents that he declassified already, that every president before him has had possession of, is that a crime? No, it isn’t.”

Why she continues to support Trump: “Results. When he was president, he delivered results. … I loved his foreign policy. He had China in their box. He had North Korea in their box. He had Russia in their box. I love his tax cuts. I loved his trade deals. I loved the way he stood up to NATO. I loved the way he was securing the border. I’m trying to think of something he did that I didn’t like, and it hasn’t hit my brain yet. The economy was great. I mean, what’s to complain about? I don’t care about his personality. I care about results, and Trump delivered.”

Karon Fickey, 66, retired high school psychology teacher, Rabun County, Georgia

Karon Fickey. 06/09/2023 Mike Haskey/
Karon Fickey. 06/09/2023 Mike Haskey/

How the Trump indictment affects her opinion about him: “I still feel the same about him. I feel like he’s been treated unfairly. I’m not a Trumper necessarily, but it’s so obvious that the system is treating him extremely – there’s a double standard. … When you have a sitting president right now that has done the exact same thing, and yet he is excused, excused, excused. It is like a witch hunt.”

Her concerns about Trump: “If he does win the nomination, we all need to be behind him 100%. Don’t allow someone’s disdain or dislike for Trump be more important than your love for this country. … I think his personality turns people off, a little brash.”

Why she might support another candidate: “I think there’s some really good people running I don’t know that (Trump) will be able to unite the Republican Party. That’s my biggest concern. . . . Tim Scott’s excellent, Ron DeSantis. I want to see who’s out there.”

Jonathan Ledwell, 43, works for boiler tube manufacturer, Chatooga County, Georgia

Reaction to Trump indictment: “It’s all a hoax. Look at it from the beginning. They tried to jam him up on everything. So far it’s all turned out to be false. They just keep jamming him. They don’t want him to run again.”

Why he thinks that: “Because he’s not the establishment. He don’t play by the rules. He don’t go along. He’s not part of the bird. Right wing, left wing -- same bird. He’s not with it.”

Impact of Trump indictment: “I’m going to vote for Trump. … Anything the news comes out with ain’t going to change my mind because I don’t believe nothing that’s on the news anyway.”

What he likes about Trump: “Let’s start with the gas prices. Let’s start with the grocery prices. When he was in there, you can go on down the line. Our country was doing real good. My bank account looked pretty good, and I wasn’t make as much money then as I’m making now, and my bank account is shorter because my grocery bill is higher and my gas bill is higher.”

On biggest mistake Trump has made: “He let Fauci talk him into shutting our country down during COVID. They used that as a weapon against us. It affected our economy. … Don’t force me to do anything. I’m an American.”

Jimmy Fisher, 84, Dahlonega, Georgia

Jimmy Fisher Mike Haskey/
Jimmy Fisher Mike Haskey/

Why he supports Trump: “There’s nobody else that can do what he can do. Our country is in bad shape right now.”

Reaction to Trump indictment: “It’s fake. … He is so innocent, and they hate him for it.”

What he wants to hear from Trump’s speech: “Just be honest. … Don’t say anything you can’t do. If he wants to win, he will win. … He’s become a Christian, but he won’t admit it now or tell people about it because they’ll put him down; they’ll kill him. All the Christians are being killed today.”

Donna Evatt, 57, semi-retired from husband’s HVAC company, Rossville, Georgia

Why she supports Trump: “He made people realize that we had the power. It’s not just the elites up in Washington. … Don’t sugarcoat it. Don’t beat around the bush. Just tell me the truth. That’s pretty much what he does.”

Reaction to the Trump indictment: “The indictment shows me that he scares them because the indictment came down the same day there’s proof that there’s Biden was taking bribes from Burisma (Ukranian natural gas firm). It’s just unprecedented that they would attack a political opponent like that. It’s very sad.”