Starting at 9 p.m. last night, Donald Trump hosted a Twitter Q&A where he invited the public to pose to him whatever questions they wanted him to answer. Predictably, lots of Twitter users did not take the #AskTrump Q&A seriously and hilarity ensued… but was it truly a backfire, or were rebellious users playing directly into Trump’s hands?
As soon as Trump announced via Twitter that he would answer any questions thrown at him by the public, anyone who had been following his campaign could guess the Q&A would not be fulfilling. After all, the Donald is known for providing extremely ambiguous answers to any difficult policy-related question he faces, a quality that Jimmy Kimmel lampooned hilariously in the spoof Donald Trump campaign ad below.
To be fair, a few of the questions asked of Trump were sincere. Not surprisingly, Donald gave his usual overly-generic responses to those questions, but they at least maintained the guise of professionalism.
Others asked questions that, while not related to Trump’s campaign, were polite and appropriate.
It is no great surprise, though, that the vast majority of responders did not take the Q&A seriously. The hashtag #AskTrump trended majorly last night among people looking to make a mockery of Donald, and some of the ways they came up with to do so were side-splitting funny. There are literally thousands of #AskTrump joke Tweets to choose from, but here are some of the funniest.
#AskTrump can you confirm or deny the rumor that you're really just two children stacked on top of each other in a trench coat?— Rob Cordero (@robcordero) September 21, 2015
#asktrump As the head of Slytherin do you feel your association to Voldemort will hinder your chances at becoming the muggle president?— Rob Eric (@roberic1) September 21, 2015
In The Little Rascals, your son, Waldo, lost a very important go-kart race. How do you feel all these years later? #AskTrump— Chet Cannon (@Chet_Cannon) September 21, 2015
Do you have a birth certificate to prove your hair is a US citizen #asktrump— Martin Perry (@MartinPerry19) September 21, 2015
Unfortunately, Donald did not respond to any of the comedic Tweets.
According to a Tweet from Twitter itself, #AskTrump was the fifth most trending hashtag in the world just two hours after Trump posted his initial invitation.
Betty White even posted a Tweet with the #AskTrump hashtag saying that the Q&A session had been an obvious failure from the beginning.
#AskTrump Did you think this hashtag even had a remote chance of making you look good?— Betty F*ckin' White (@BettyFckinWhite) September 21, 2015
Well, no, the hashtag certainly did not make Trump look better than he did previously, but it did give him a huge amount of free press, a point comedian Patton Oswalt pointed out in an insightful Tweet.
Of COURSE the #AskTrump hashtag backfired. It was supposed to. Jesus Christ on a publicity stunt, guys.— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) September 21, 2015
Oswalt raises the point that no press is bad press, and, for that reason, Trump actually came out on top. Judging by a picture Trump tweeted after the session wrapped up, he certainly seemed happy with the results.
Is Donald Trump reflecting positively on the #AskTrump debacle because his campaign just finished pulling of a very successful PR ploy? Or was #AskTrump a misstep on his part that Trump was just trying to play off like a good sport? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Image via Justin Sullivan]