During his presidential candidacy, Donald Trump has given people plenty of reasons to bash him, but one food-truck owner in Portland, Oregon, now says he regrets his recent plan to reopen his business with a life-size Trump piñata, video of which showed up on a YouTube channel called LaughingAtLiberals:
Erik Sandoval, who runs the truck that specializes in tortas, El Diablito, had originally left the food world to run a papier-mâché business for a few years (hence the piñata’s uncanny likeness) but says he recently decided to return to the truck. So, to announce El Diablito’s grand reopening, he hosted a literal Trump-bashing party. Something he now wishes he hadn’t done. “It was a stupid thing,” he says, “but a few months ago, another business had three Trump piñatas, and they massacred those things and nobody said anything. I thought it would be innocent.”
Conservative online media, nevertheless, pounced on the promotion. Sandoval now admits it was an error, but argues the optics also just turned out really bad: Like, for example, a young kid clearly saying of the Trump piñata, “I want to kill him.” (Sandoval says the kid just used poor word choice to ask if he could finish the piñata off.) Sandoval also admits that he probably shouldn’t have held the piñata’s head up, Game of Thrones–style: “I was just shaking the candy out. It was dumb to hold it up.”
Of the video, Sandoval says he doesn’t know who shot the footage or posted it on LaughingAtLiberals’s YouTube channel, and instead says he assumed the cameraman was affiliated with KOIN, the local news channel he’d invited. Now, however, he says the online pushback on the story was so swift and severe that the local station acquiesced and removed the story from its site. Sandoval, meanwhile, has been forced to shut down his business’s Facebook page as well as change the phone number.
“That’s what I get for not following my instincts,” he says. “What’s funny is I just did it as marketing, not as politics. And I was just doing what Trump does — using popularity to try to pull in more business.”