Battleground Dem senator posted 23 times on George Floyd, silent on Laken Riley

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Longtime Democrat Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey Jr. has yet to say anything on social media about the recent murder of nursing student Laken Riley, but he has tweeted nearly two dozen times about the 2020 killing of George Floyd, according to a review of the battleground state lawmaker’s social media accounts.

Fox News Digital reviewed Casey’s official Senate X account as well as his campaign X account and found he has tweeted at least 23 times underscoring the tragedy surrounding Floyd’s death in 2020 during an interaction with police in Minneapolis. When searching for any tweets on Riley, the accounts turned up empty.

Fox News Digital repeatedly reached out to Casey’s campaign regarding the tweets on Floyd versus none on Riley but didn’t receive comment.

Casey has long been a Pennsylvania Democrat stalwart, first winning his election to the U.S. Senate in 2007 and serving in a state where his father was elected governor in 1987. Casey has said this year’s election will be a “tough race” as he works to hold onto his seat in a swing state that will likely help determine the results of this year’s presidential election.

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Casey is anticipated to face off against Republican Dave McCormick following the state’s primaries in April. McCormick is an Army combat veteran and former CEO of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates. He served as the Commerce Department’s undersecretary of commerce for industry and security as well as undersecretary of the treasury for international affairs under former President George W. Bush.

Riley’s murder has become a rallying cry for Republicans this year as they demand the Biden administration drastically strengthen its immigration policies, similar to how Floyd’s killing ushered in demands from Democrats to defund police departments and overhaul policing in the U.S.

Riley, 22, was discovered beaten to death in February after going for a run on the University of Georgia’s campus. The Augusta University student crossed paths with Venezuelan national Jose Antonio Ibarra, according to authorities, and died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Ibarra, 26, was charged with Riley’s murder. He entered the U.S. through El Paso, Texas, in 2022 and was freed on border parole. He first lived in New York City, where he was arrested for endangering a child, before moving to Athens, Georgia.

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Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis after police officers pinned him to the ground by kneeling on his neck and body after he was accused of using counterfeit money at a convenience store. Floyd’s death was soon followed by massive protests and riots across the nation demanding police departments be defended; there was also a spike in the nation’s violent crime rate as police pulled back from patrolling and some officers left the force in record numbers in response to anti-police rhetoric.

Casey’s X accounts show repeated tweets remembering Floyd, including on Father’s Day in 2020 when he took a moment of silence in memory of Floyd and other Black Americans who died during interactions with police, and called for reforms to the U.S. justice system.

Casey, who has positioned himself as a supporter of law enforcement, outlines on his Senate page that “we must reform” policing systems. He came under fire last month from leaders in law enforcement in the Keystone State for “aligning” himself with a “defund the police” group, Indivisible Philadelphia, and its state chapter, Pennsylvania Indivisible. The group threw their endorsement behind Casey ahead of his election battle against McCormick this year. 

“[Casey] wants to hide his culpability in the tragic murder of Laken Riley,” said Nate Sizemore, McCormick’s campaign press secretary, when asked about Casey’s silence on Laken Riley.

“Casey’s support for sanctuary cities, his opposition to a border wall, his votes against funding that could have saved 4,000 Pennsylvanians from fentanyl overdoses – it’s all enabling the deaths of Americans and the terrorizing of our communities. Pennsylvanians are fed up with this empty suit who won’t put their safety and the safety of their children first.”

Casey has voted against measures such as former President Trump’s border wall and a bill that would disqualify illegal migrants from being counted in the U.S. Census. He’s endorsed fellow Democrats like former Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who reinstated the city’s sanctuary city status.

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Following Riley’s death, Republican lawmakers rallied around Georgia Rep. Mike Collins, who introduced the Laken Riley Act, which would require Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to issue detainers and take custody of illegal migrants if they commit certain theft-related crimes, among other measures. The bill received widespread support in the House, passing 251-170, while the Senate’s version of the bill was subsequently blocked in the Democrat-led upper chamber.

Casey has voted in recent years against a similar bill called Kate’s Law, which is named after California woman Kate Steinle who was shot and killed by a Mexican national in 2015. If enacted, Kate’s Law would impose mandatory minimum prison sentences on foreign nationals with aggravated felony convictions who illegally reenter the U.S. after being deported.

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“Senator Casey believes that all perpetrators of violent crimes should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Casey’s office told the New York Post in February when asked about Kate’s Law, adding that Casey “believes that we need concrete solutions to secure the border and fix our broken immigration system, not political games.”

Riley’s murder has become a focal point of the immigration crisis in the U.S. as Republicans continue slamming Biden’s border policies that have led to more than 7 million migrants entering the U.S. since 2021. A handful of Democrats, such as Casey, have avoided talking about Riley, while Republicans, like Sen. Ted Budd, R-N.C., have argued that “the Democrat party’s commitment to open borders is causing otherwise preventable tragedies to occur again and again.”

During the State of the Union last month, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican, heckled Biden to “say her name,” meaning Riley’s name, with the president responding that Riley was murdered by an “illegal.” The president held up a button in memory of Riley and added that his “heart goes out to” Riley’s parents.

Casey is running unopposed in the state primary, which will be held on April 23.

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