‘Rocket Man’ and 5 Other Trump Nicknames for His Political Rivals
We remember some memorable Trump nicknames.
While speaking to the United Nations yesterday, national embarrassment-slash-U.S. President Donald Trump referred to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un as “Rocket Man,” a disparaging nickname (taken from an Elton John song) referencing Jong-un’s love of launching test missiles — he’s already launched 22 this year.
It’s probably unwise to provoke an isolated leader bent on proving his nuclear capabilities — especially since Trump’s aggression reminds North Korea of the U.S. carpet bombing during the 1950s Korean War. Nevertheless, Trump has long exhibited a middle-schooler’s delight for giving unflattering nicknames to his political rivals.
So we decided to pick out five of the most memorable Trump nicknames and provide a bit of backstory behind each. (We’d also like to point out that one of our favorite nicknames for Trump is Emperor Tiny Hands.)
1. Crooked Hillary (Hillary Clinton)
Trump first uttered this nickname during a campaign rally in Watertown, New York, on April 16, 2016.
So, I’m self-funding. All of this is mine. When I fly in, it’s on my dime, right, it’s on mine. And what does that mean? That means I’m not controlled by the special interests, by the lobbyists. They control crooked Hillary …
The name stuck because of numerous corruption accusations facing Clinton.
2. Crazy Bernie (Bernie Sanders)
During a campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida, on Jan. 13, 2016, Trump said, “What do you do? Concede the election to Hillary Clinton or to Crazy Bernie?” He then used the nickname again on Twitter in May 2016, and it immediately began trending.
The Clintons spend millions on negative ads on me & I can’t tell the truth about her husband? Don’t feel sorry for crooked Hillary!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2016
The nickname hits on Sanders’ age: Sanders is 76, and although Trump is only five years younger, Sanders’ grey hair and glasses give him a more grandfatherly appearance. The nickname is also a jab at Sanders’ progressive politics as “crazy” or unrealistic (unlike, say, Trump’s plan to build a 1,954-mile wall between the U.S. and Mexico).
3. Low Energy Jeb (Jeb Bush)
In August 2015, Trump referred to Bush as “low energy” and later said at a January 2016 rally in Burlington, Vermont, “Let’s say, this is impossible to imagine, low-energy Jeb Bush becomes president.”
The nickname stuck because Bush had a seemingly unenthusiastic campaign full of low-points and slow responses.
4. Pocahontas (Elizabeth Warren)
During a campaign rally in Virginia, June 10, 2016, Trump said:
Pocahontas is not happy, she’s not happy. She’s the worst. You know, Pocahontas — I’m doing such a disservice to Pocahontas, it’s so unfair to Pocahontas — but this Elizabeth Warren, I call her ‘goofy,’ Elizabeth Warren, she’s one of the worst senators in the entire United States Senate.
“Pocahontas” is probably Trump’s most racially insensitive nickname, a reference to a famous Native American woman who existed during the early 17th century. The real-life Pocahontas allegedly defended an English settler from a death sentence at the hands of her father, a tribal chief.
The nickname questions Warren’s self-proclaimed Cherokee and Delaware tribal heritage. The Washington Post reports: “There is no documented proof of Warren’s self-proclaimed, partial Native American heritage, which experts have noted is difficult to prove to begin with.”
5. Little Marco (Marco Rubio)
During the campaign, Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio attacked Trump for having a “spray tan” and “small hands.” The insult got under Trump’s skin and, at a campaign rally in Columbus, Ohio, on Mar. 1, 2016, Trump said, “I call him Little Marco. Little Marco. Hello, Marco.”
Trump also said it directly to Rubio during a Mar. 3, 2016 presidential debate.
The diminutive use of “Little” painted Rubio as a younger, smaller child — he is five inches shorter and 25 years younger than Trump. It also made Rubio seem easily irritated, immature and impotent, much like Trump has proven to be.