This week, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz had Twitter unsettled with his flirty tweets directed at Tiffany Trump. It began when Gaetz used a heart-eyes emoji to respond to a photo of the president's daughter on Wednesday. As followers complained about the tweet's connotations, Gaetz doubled down.
Gaetz and Tiffany had a flirty exchange on Wednesday when she posted a photo of herself with a heart emoji for the caption. Gaetz responded with a string of emojis, and Tiffany seemed to reciprocate with more emojis of her own. All in all, this unspoken conversation struck most viewers as flirty, and they did not like seeing it play out in public — if at all.
🔥❤️😍👍 https://t.co/IacJv4RydW— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) November 12, 2020
Judging by the complaints, part of the problem is the political advantage Gaetz might gain from a flirtation with Tiffany. Gaetz is a loyal supporter of President Donald Trump — even described in a report by Mashable as a "sycophant" — so this exchange seemed to some like his attempt to get into the reality TV family's narrative.
There is also, of course, the age difference between the two. At 38 years old, Gaetz is eleven years older than 27-year-old Tiffany, and many did not like the tone he was taking with a younger woman, especially one who is in law school and might soon be looking for a job in his field.
Throughout his political career so far, Gaetz has stirred up controversy for his work in politics, including his attempts to re-criminalize cannabis, his denial of climate change science, his attempt to repeal adoptions by same-sex couples and his strong opposition to gun control — even after the Parkland, Florida school shooting. Gaetz also attacked the Affordable Care Act, publicly opposed the Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and has come under fire for various aspects of his immigration rhetoric.
Throughout all of this, Gaetz has frequently lied in support of his political positions. The fact-checking website PolitiFact found that about 40 percent of Gaetz's statements that they checked were "mostly false," and 30 percent were outright "false."
Gaetz is a common target for criticism on Twitter, and this week his personal life came into the equation more than ever. Here is a look at how Twitter responded to his flirtation with Tiffany Trump.
please take this to DMs. leave us out of this.— Brittany Van Horne (@_brittanyv) November 12, 2020
Some users begged both Gaetz and Tiffany to take this non-verbal exchange to a private chat, like direct messages on Twitter or even simply texts. Regardless of how they felt about the flirtation, they wanted to be left out of it.prevnext
Many of the responses to Gaetz's tweets were best-represented in memes rather than written statements. Critics called Gaetz "creepy" and cringed at his prolific emoji use.prevnext
Did anyone else read this in Rudolph the red nosed reindeer’s voice? pic.twitter.com/8WCSkNyLe5— Rita Armstrong (@SwearengenMaude) November 13, 2020
Assuming Gaetz was flirting with Tiffany in these posts, many commenters snarked that he was bad at the process altogether. Some compared him to other awkward flirts for reference.prevnext
You know he loves your dad more than your dad loves you, right?— Paul Trampe(Florida District 1) (@PaulTrampe) November 12, 2020
Matt wishes with all his heart he could be papa Trumps biggest boy and here, in his fantasy, he has found his way to do that.— DPRK Army Esports Team 육군 온라인 게임 팀 (@lacroisoiboi) November 12, 2020
Some commenters argued that Gaetz was using these interactions to get closer to the president, while others thought that Tiffany was doing the same.prevnext
You are so PATHETIC! https://t.co/Azv71PVuVy— LoisAnnette Mullen (@LoisannetteM) November 15, 2020
Others were even harsher on Gaetz, jumping right past "awkward" to "pathetic."prevnext
Since Tiffany tends to stay out of the spotlight, some assume she wants nothing to do with her father's administration, unlike her older siblings. Many of these people had their opinions of Tiffany lowered just by her association with Gaetz.prevnext
the way this horny mf is my state's representative im down bad— first-mate prance (@bocxtop) November 12, 2020
Regardless of his politics, some commenters said that behavior like this made it harder to take Gaetz seriously as a congression representative in general. They lamented the popularization of social media in politics.prev