The devil is in the detail.
The President told a steelworker that his father was looking down on him with pride. It was a lovely sentiment except for one thing. The dad’s still alive and kicking.
The light exchange that lit up the internet happened at Thursday’s White House event ahead of Trump’s announced steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a landmark campaign promise.
The steep tariffs are great news to Scott Sauritch, the president of the 2227 steelworkers union in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, who explained why Trump’s move meant so much to him with a story about his dad in the ’80s.
“He lost his job due to imports coming into this country,” Sauritch told Trump wistfully, offering POTUS his sincere gratitude. “I just wanted to tell you, what that does to a man with six kids is devastating. I never forgot that, looking into his eyes in my household [and] what that does to a family.”
“What’s your father’s name?” Trump asked. “Herman,” Sauritch said.
“Well, your father Herman is looking down. He’s very proud of you right now,” Trump said.
“Oh, he’s still alive,” Sauritch said.
President Trump: “Your father ... is looking down, he’s very proud of you right now.”— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 8, 2018
Local steel worker union president: “Oh, he’s still alive.”
Trump: “Oh, he is? Then he’s even more proud of you.” pic.twitter.com/rLKIlMDzkr
“He is?” Trump asked. “Well then, he’s even more proud of you,” he said, as laughs rippled throughout the room.
Alive? Even more good news. Evidently paternal pride improves when your dad has a pulse.
The President has made similar sentiments about deceased loved ones before.
In fairness, the emotional tale could lead anyone to believe he had passed. But that didn’t stop the internet from springing to action with jokes about the encounter. Quips about the joke “killing” internet users? You better believe Twitter had those in boatloads.
See below for reactions. Congratulations Herman. You’re not dearly departed yet.
Trump: "Your father is looking down on you and he's very proud."— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) March 8, 2018
Steel worker: "Oh, he's still alive."
And, I'm dead.
*Curb Your Enthusiasm theme plays* https://t.co/X96wI8j9JM— Joe Berkowitz (@JoeBerkowitz) March 8, 2018
In fairness, the guy did make it sound like his dad had passed. https://t.co/IIUiIwAui3— Drew McCoy (@_Drew_McCoy_) March 8, 2018
Maybe add that to the notecard next time. https://t.co/C7EfoAAnYi— Kyle Allen (@LiberalCanuck) March 8, 2018
Oh he’s alive my bad, me and my staff are lazy we don’t have time to check those things! https://t.co/f6oye0GVyq— PKNI, J.D. (@pkni) March 9, 2018
"Your father, Herman, is looking down on you, and he's very proud of you"— ?????? ?????? (@taylorrv_) March 9, 2018
"Oh, he's still alive"
Trump to SW rep:— MC-KIWI (@2witterbird) March 9, 2018
"Your dad is Herman?"
"Herman. Yes, sir."
"Well, your father Herman is looking down; he's very proud of you right now."
"He's still alive." pic.twitter.com/BIFBnujlq7
Donald Trump: “Your father, Herman, is looking down. He’s very proud of you right now”— Edward Hardy (@EdwardTHardy) March 8, 2018
Steel worker: “Oh. He’s still alive”
Trump: “Oh. He is? Then he’s even more proud of you” pic.twitter.com/0GRKjAWqS9
*Trump checks note card* "I hear you."— Matt DeCample (@DeCample) March 8, 2018