“The Trump campaign stepped up,” says Jeff Popick, manager of the girls group that sang and danced at Donald Trump’s rally in Pensacola, Fla., on Wednesday: USA Freedom Kids, whose controversial performance has gone viral. One clip of the routine, entitled “The Official Donald Trump Jam,” pulled in more than 2.1 million views in just two days.
Jeff Popick with the USA Freedom Kids. (Photo: Facebook/USA Freedom Kids)
Clearly proud of the theatrics from the American-flag-clad pixies — including his daughter Alexis, 8, as well as her friends Bianca, Izzy, Sarah, and Victoria, all between the ages of 8 and 11 — Popick told the Washington Post that the gig was his idea and he had reached out to “almost all the campaigns,” but “with some candidates, I could not even get on first base.”
The children’s song, “Freedom’s Call,” has gotten considerable backlash, though, for the bombastic lyrics uttered by relatively young kids. “Cowardice/Are you serious?” the pint-size powerhouses belt out. “Apologies for freedom, I can’t handle this/When freedom rings, answer the call!/On your feet, stand up tall! … Enemies of freedom, face the music/C’mon, boys, take them down/President Donald Trump knows how to make America great/Deal from strength or get crushed every time.”
Presidential candidate Donald Trump at the rally in Pensacola, Fla., on Wednesday. (Photo: Corbis Images)
The Huffington Post shared social media comparisons of the Florida-based girls to brainwashed youth in North Korea in its article “Hey Trump, You Know Who Else Held Rallies Where Kids Sang About Crushing Their Enemies?” A Mother Jones piece went further, dubbing the song “horrifying,” the performance “creepy,” and the entire show an “apparent bid to land on the military’s torture playlist.”
The show included Popick’s daughter Alexis, center, being lifted, cheerleader-style. (Photo: Fox News/YouTube)
Popick, 53, admitted he’s gotten negative feedback from the event. “I had a message from somebody who sounded either like he was half-drunk or all-drunk and called and said, ‘Your girls are ugly, the song is stupid, and you’re wasting your time,’” said the father, a former Hollywood stuntman turned media producer. Nevertheless, he insisted, “For me, it just shows this country needs more of what we’re doing. It was somebody maybe smarter than me who said, ‘A child shall lead them.’”