“This is a tough hurricane, one of the wettest we’ve ever seen from the standpoint of water,” he said. “Rarely have we had an experience like it, and it certainly is not good.”
The remarks, which Trump made in a pre-recorded video — not during a distracted rush to Air Force One or while chucking paper towels into a crowd of hurricane victims — were intended to show appreciation for the region’s first responders.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 18, 2018
But that was lost in the curtain wall of jokes that rained down afterward. Twitter users did not exactly place the president’s attempt at resolve into the Rooseveltian sphere.
Franklin Roosevelt: The only thing to fear is, fear itself
Abraham Lincoln: Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it
Donald Trump: One of the wettest we’ve ever seen from the standpoint of water
— Jason Ravazzolo (@JasonRavazzolo) September 19, 2018
Trump trying to be empathetic is not unlike a dog trying to solve a Calculus problem.
— Jim A (@JimA050) September 19, 2018
What are the categories of hurricanes according to Trump University?
Category 1 Dry
Category 2 Slightly Wet
Category 3 Wet
Category 4 Wetter
Category 5 The Wettest
Category 6 Tremendously Wet
— Ali Foroughi (@alforoughi) September 19, 2018
he tells it like it is! i also know that water is wet.! how relatable !!
— conor cavalier (@beefinq) September 19, 2018
“One of the wettest we’ve ever seen from the standpoint of water.”@realDonaldTrump:
How is it from the standpoint of sky or jello?
Why is everything a superlative?
Is water really wet?
How do you compare the wetness of water?
Is some water less wet than other water?
— Shirin Shirin (@sweeeetweeeet) September 19, 2018
— Beth Krieger (@UWStweeter) September 19, 2018
One the president’s rhetorical trademarks is to use extraneous words where actual content would suffice, such as saying something will happen “in a very short period of time,” instead of “shortly” or “soon,” or an actual count of days or weeks.
Meteorologists feared that Florence could be historic in its devastation. So far, estimates put the damage to the Carolinas at about $22 billion. That total could rise, as flooding continues.
Earlier this month, President Trump disputed the official death toll from last year’s Hurricane Maria, which wrecked much of Puerto Rico, killing more than 3,000. The Puerto Rican government said it will cost $139 billion to recover from the storm.
It’s unclear if the president has been briefed on that. He spent Wednesday afternoon touring New Bern, North Carolina, a region hit by Florence, where he was overheard telling a survivor of the hurricane, “Have a good time.” According to the White House pool report, he comforted another by saying, “At least you got a nice boat out of the deal.”