Trump Campaign Store Now Selling ‘Fredo’ Chris Cuomo T-shirt
The Trump Campaign is again capitalizing on a promotional product to bolster President Donald Trump's reelection bid, and, like the eponymous straw, this new item is a way for the president to fight back against someone or something that irks him. Just two days after the news took the internet by storm, the Trump Campaign store has made available a "Fredo" Chris Cuomo T-shirt as its next micro-moment funds generator.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 13, 2019
With respect to Cuomo, Trump sees the CNN anchor as a person who “spews lies every night,” and the tee is serving as a bit of payback. Its inspiration stems from a confrontation that the television journalist had with a stranger who dubbed him “Fredo.” The reference to John Cazale’s character in “The Godfather” and “The Godfather Part II” drew intense rage from Cuomo, who has since labeled the reference as a slur against Italians, given that Fredo Corleone ended up being a family traitor. Whether the person who accosted the CNN employee was looking to characterize Cuomo as the weaker sibling to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo remains unknown, but one could make that conclusion since Fredo was evidently far less robust than brothers Michael and Sonny.
Continuing the cinematic comparisons, Trump ventured to Twitter to say, “I thought Chris was Fredo also. The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings.” While such a ribbing might have been enough to embarrass someone in days gone by, we find ourselves in a never-ending push by incumbents and candidates to draw support for their policies and plans. The desire for Trump to helm the country until January 2025 and the hope among Democrats that they will unseat him have yielded an interesting look at how promotional goods could strongly influence the 2020 general election.
Because of the viral video that depicts the “Fredo” commenter and his target, visitors to the Trump Campaign store can purchase a Chris Cuomo T-shirt that declares “Fredo Unhinged” and features his image as he unleashed a profanity-laced tirade against the stranger. “Help us annoy Chris Cuomo,” the $34 shirt’s description states, noting also that “CNN’s Chris Cuomo is Fredo.”
We have often heard that all’s fair in love and war, but since many things come in threes, perhaps “politics” can join those two to form a trio. The president has made obvious his disdain for CNN, so choosing to market a Chris Cuomo T-shirt to encourage supporters to show similar derision could prove a marketing victory for him.
It could also just end up being a quick cash maker, since we are still more than 14 months away from the election, meaning there will be plenty of opportunities, one figures, for the campaign to sell more goods that poke fun at Trump's adversaries. Because of that possibility, we find ourselves reminded that micro-moments are coming to hold significant sway in the promo world, and those who follow the news cycle diligently should not feel surprised when the next one becomes available.