President Donald Trump used a Tuesday campaign rally in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, to expound upon the dangers of tuna fish projectiles, alleging that protesters across the country were using cans of “Bumble Bee brand tuna” as weapons.
“They go out to buy tuna fish and soup,” Trump said, referring to demonstrators in cities like Portland, Oregon, and Minneapolis. “You know that, right? Goya, I hope. Goya; he’s great, isn’t he? Good guy.”
Trump apparently was referring to Goya Foods, which was not named after a person and produces what it bills as “authentic Latino cuisine.” In July, Trump met at the White House with Robert Unanue, Goya’s CEO, who lavishly praised the president. That sparked calls by Trump critics for a boycott of the company’s products.
Trump, in his rally rant, said protesters “go out and buy Goya because they throw it, they throw it.”
As he continued, Trump switched brands and food references. “It’s the perfect weight, tuna fish, they could really rip it, right, and that hits you? No, it’s true. Bumble Bee brand tuna and you can throw that sucker. You can put a curve on it, you can do whatever the hell you want, and the cops in Chicago, you saw it, they were going like this.”
Trump mimicked police officers recoiling from tuna fish missiles, and went on to argue that protesters were professional “anarchists” funded by “stupid, rich people.”
“This is all Democrats, it doesn’t happen with Republicans,” the president added, repeating his frequent and unfounded criticism that crime and social unrest persist only in cities with Democratic leaders.
Shortly after the president’s rally, sarcastic social media takes about tuna fish quickly went viral. Even the Bumble Bee Seafood Twitter account chimed in.
Eat em. Don’t throw em.
— Bumble Bee Seafoods (@BumbleBeeFoods) September 23, 2020
Trump just accused protesters of buying cans of tuna or was it Goya to throw at people?
— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) September 23, 2020
200,000 Americans dead and um, huh. ok…the president of this country is talking about imaginary violence by Bumble Bee tuna cans? https://t.co/EltW60WbyV
— alyssa GrudgePAC mastromonaco (@AlyssaMastro44) September 23, 2020
I’m done with Antifa. I bought 700 stay fresh pouches of Starkist tuna and now I find out we are using Bumblebee tuna cans?????? I can’t keep up.
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) September 23, 2020
Just got pulled over with a trunk full of Bumble Bee tuna.
— Travis Allen 🇺🇸 (@TravisAllen02) September 23, 2020
Trump’s soup-throwing story expands to include cans of Bumble Bee Tuna.
[I wonder whether it’s “Solid” or “Chunk Light.”]
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) September 23, 2020
The people who own AR-15s are worried about kids with tuna cans.
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) September 23, 2020
That’s right you MAGA motherfuckers – I have my soup can, I have my bumble bee tuna…and I even have an apple
I’m ready for war pic.twitter.com/zweGNX9Q6y
— Jonathan Jewel (@jonathanjewel) September 23, 2020
Bob Barr can pry my Bumble Bee tuna from cold dead hands pic.twitter.com/x4A9tgvZ8W
— Canned Tuna Antifa🌴 (@frogbaby236) September 23, 2020
This is not the first time that Trump has fixated upon food items used as weaponry. In July, he told leaders of the National Association of Police Organizations that protesters were throwing “cans of soup” at law enforcement, and that those objects were “better than a brick because you can’t throw a brick; it’s too heavy.”
Trump’s thoughts on tuna and soup may stem from images shared by Portland authorities in June and July showing “contraband” such as bottles, canned goods and paint that they said had been thrown at officers during the city’s racial injustice protests, which begin in May following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and have been ongoing since.
As he campaigns for reelection, Trump has leaned into the idea that cities run by Democrats have become lawless havens ― he has insisted, inaccurately, that Portland was “ablaze all the time.” He also has argued that a Joe Biden administration would seek to amplify civil unrest, despite the Democratic nominee having repeatedly condemned violence and looting at protests.
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