Though the evidence is obviously just anecdotal, it doesn’t seem like Donald Trump’s attendance at a recent UFC event has proven to be as substantively great for his public image as insiders and his supporters may have wished.
A.J. Delgado, a former adviser to Trump’s campaign-turned-opponent of the former president, shared some depressing-for-Donald observations on Twitter this week. “As I previously mentioned, almost no celebrity in attendance bothered to go up to him/say hello/ask for a photo,” she wrote. “But it gets worse… The Trump Campaign folks (being morons) and the MAGA folks on here (same) tweeted the hell out of a clip of a fighter jumping over the Octagon to breathlessly shake Trump’s hand. I’m sure you saw that…. Except…. The fighter is not American (lol) (i.e., not a voter nor ever a constituent) of Trump’s and… wait for it.. is a white South African.”
This individual, Delgado recounted, has recently been embroiled in controversy for claiming a superior African identity over another athlete who was born in Nigeria. Later, Delgado also spotlighted the anecdote that popular internet personality Theo Von released an episode of his podcast in which he discussed having attended the same event where Trump made a stop… and though Von was seen in close proximity to Donald while everything went down, he didn’t mention him, according to Delgado’s Twitter retelling. And Delgado had even more anecdotal hits for Trump in previous posts.
“David Spade, Johnny Knoxville, and Theo Von were all within a few feet if Trump,” the attorney said on Twitter. “Yet I see no photo any took posing w him (?) or even any interaction (handshake, etc). Truly humiliating. He should do more of these.”
Though publicity-oriented events obviously aren’t going to themselves propel anybody to the White House, Trump himself has often been obsessed with such happenings — with mixed results. A source from the Secret Service who spoke to a local publication put early crowd size estimates for a South Carolina event that Trump did thousands below Donald’s own claims regarding the crowd’s size. Still, Trump generally leads in polls taken amid the 2024 GOP presidential primary, though he is generally close to Biden in surveys measuring prospective voters’ opinions in the event of a rematch next year of 2020.