Donald Trump has a new nickname for Ron DeSantis – and there might be a good reason why he does this. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Donald Trump has a new nickname for Ron DeSantis and there might be a good reason why he does this. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins joins me to talk about what’s happening, and along with a lot of other topics, but this Meatball Ron. Now I’ve heard two different versions. Some are Meatball Head Ron, Meatball Head, and the other was Meatball. Just, just regular Meatball Ron. First, it’s usually the first step we see Trump take where it comes to attacking his opponent, and there’s a good reason he does it. People might be saying he’s crazy, which he is. He’s obnoxious, which he is. He’s vulgar, which he is. But he has a political reason, doesn’t he? Go ahead and talk about it.

Farron Cousins: He really does. And this is actually a very interesting story because it does show that the one thing Trump is good at is getting people. And he knows that people, same thing you and I have been talking about for 20 years now, the American public has very short attention spans. So if you can capture that attention for any period of time, whether it’s with a stupid little nickname or a catchy slogan, you’ve got ’em.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: Like that’s all you need. And that’s why these other nicknames he has, like, you know, crooked Hillary is still something you see. Lyin’ Ted Cruz, plenty of people on the left still use Lyin’ Ted Cruz. Those are all nicknames that Trump came up with. And he, as far as we know, has never publicly said Meatball Ron. But everybody in the media has now used that phrase.

Mike Papantonio: It’s, it’s out there.

Farron Cousins: It is.

Mike Papantonio: We’re gonna talk about that. It’s out there. Now, he was smart enough to put it out there and says, oh, I’m not gonna call him that. It’s all over. You know, I see Meatball Head and Meatball. I, I don’t know which one’s going to hit, gonna stick, but I see emojis with Meatball Head and you name it. But I mean, it, he, it kept with Sleepy Joe, you know, Sleepy Joe Biden. Little Marco.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Little Marco definitely stuck. So you mentioned, you mentioned the attention span. It’s more complicated than that. When you really take a look at what, why the shrinks are saying this works. They’re saying that at this point in time, the average American has a reading and a comprehension ability of about a sixth to seventh grader. So they’re always going to gravitate towards the easiest thing. So Meatball Head here may, Trump may not call him Meatball Head, but at this point, we’re already seeing it. We’re seeing it in social media. We’re seeing comments that are coming out where they’ve got emojis with Meatball Head. So he’s really kind of accomplished what he wants to say. Here’s what’s really important, I think. The, the shrinks say it’s all about placing a visual with a word. In other words, if I put a bunch of words up here, if I put 50 words and I said, can you memorize those words? Probably couldn’t do it as well as if I put a picture with the word. If you saw lion and I had a picture of a lion, dog picture of a dog, you’re gonna be, you’re gonna be able to memorize that better. Your success in memorizing that. That’s what, that’s what’s happening here.

Farron Cousins: It, it really is quite fascinating, to be honest. And again, I know it’s, it’s juvenile, it’s silly, but it has worked for him so well, that’s the same reason that, you know, they, they shortened up the Make America Great Again into just MAGA, because it’s simple. It’s quick, it’s easy. It’s, it’s almost a slogan at this point.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: Same thing with these nicknames. You know, Meatball Ron is now a slogan.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: Just like, if you heard Hot Pockets or By Mennen, those are things that people remember. It’s short, it’s quick, it’s to the point, and it, it, it is a branding corporate thing. And that is one thing that Trump understands better than anybody.

Mike Papantonio: It’s, it’s branding by Trump, you know, the whole Trump empire has been branded by. But what he was looking at, when you look behind, you look behind the story when people say, well, what was really up here? Well, he’s trying to capture a, I don’t know DeSantis, I’ve never met DeSantis, but apparently he does have kind of a pudgy fat head and a pudgy body. So when he’s get, when he’s talking now, as people are watching him, they’re doing that thing that I just talked about. They’re associating a word with a picture, and he might be delivering really important things. I’m, I’ll tell you where I’m already seeing it, really weird. We’re already seeing it right now. DeSantis in Florida is trying to take away consumers rights to sue insurance companies when their house is destroyed by a hurricane. He’s trying to limit what they can do. He’s trying to really beat ’em down. Consumer organizations are really mad about it. I’m already seeing Meatball Head out there by those consumer. Now those are people who ordinarily probably would’ve supported the guy, but now they got this tool and we’re gonna. Colbert.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Didn’t Colbert do the same thing?

Farron Cousins: He, he had a whole song that they sang about Meatball Ron the other night. So this is something that has now made it into pop culture.

Mike Papantonio: Right.

Farron Cousins: And again, it all happened with Trump never having to say it publicly.

Mike Papantonio: No.

Farron Cousins: Just having it leak out that he’s considering. And, and prior to that, actually back in November, he was considering calling him Potato Boy was gonna be the nickname. But I gotta say Meatball Head.

Mike Papantonio: Meatball.

Farron Cousins: Meatball Head sticks a lot better than Potato Boy.

Mike Papantonio: Well, I think it’s a problem. It may not, if you look at the history of it, it is a problem for DeSantis. And I don’t know how you overcome something like, you know, every time somebody sees you, they think Meatball Head. I mean, I think it’s a problem.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.