Donald Trump Says He Will Never Refer to Ron DeSantis as ‘Meatball Ron’

The meatball has long been associated with Italian cuisine and is often referenced with endearment among Italian Americans. Yet, when used in a derogatory context, it can be considered offensive and viewed as a slur that perpetuates negative stereotypes.

One example of this would be “Meatball Ron,” a nickname that former President Donald Trump has allegedly given Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, according to Michael C. Bender and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times. They claim that Trump has begun to reference his potential opponent for the 2024 GOP nomination in this way, among other monikers such as “Shutdown Ron.” While Bender and Haberman maintain that the “Meatball Ron” nickname is a dig at the Florida Governor’s appearance, other news outlets have suggested that it could be interpreted as a slur against his Italian roots, if true. Matt Lewis of the Daily Beast even went as far as contacting the National Italian American Foundation for their comment on the situation, but received a generic statement from NIAF’s president that they “do not countenance any ethnic stereotyping used to denigrate an individual or a group.”

All eight of DeSantis’ great-grandparents were born in Italy, making him 100% Italian. Salvatore Storti, his great-great-grandfather from his mother’s side, arrived in the United States in 1904 and settled in Pennsylvania before being joined by his pregnant wife, Luigia Colucci, and their two daughters on February 21st, 1917. During Luigia’s voyage from Italy, the Immigration Act of 1917 was passed which aimed to restrict the arrival of illiterate immigrants in the US by imposing literacy tests. Luigia would have been impacted by this legislation as she was unable to read or write, but luckily for the DeSantis family, this law would not go into effect until May of that year.

In light of the rumors, Trump recently posted on Truth Social denying that he would ever call Governor DeSantis a “meatball,” stating that doing so would be “totally inappropriate.”

The 45th President of the United States may refuse the idea that he would refer to DeSantis as “Meatball Ron,” but he didn’t wait long to follow up on his Truth Social profile with another nickname that carries Italian connotations, describing Chris Cuomo as “Fredo” from The Godfather.

In all fairness though, Trump has been a strong supporter of Italian Americans. From protecting Columbus Day and Columbus monuments to honoring servicemembers of Italian descent in the US Military, Trump has demonstrated his understanding of the Italian American community’s contributions to the United States.


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