John Cardillo says he was creeped out when he saw a picture of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden embracing his adult son Hunter and giving him a kiss on the cheek. So last night, Cardillo — a right-wing commentator and former New York Police Department officer now living in Broward County — opened up Twitter and fired off a tweet.
"Does this look like an appropriate father/son interaction to you?"
The post, which now has more than 19,000 retweets, elicited thousands of responses from men sharing pictures of themselves kissing or hugging their fathers. Most pointed out that the display of affection is perfectly appropriate. Others pointed out President Donald Trump's history of inappropriate comments about — and interactions with — his daughter Ivanka Trump.
Does this look like an appropriate father/son interaction to you? pic.twitter.com/XDMIsgjUKI— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) October 22, 2020
The tweet became an instant meme, with many people tweeting out photos of famous father/son duos:
Does this look like an appropriate father/son interaction to you? pic.twitter.com/u9Bt07zl1K— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) October 22, 2020
Does this look like an appropriate father/son interaction to you? pic.twitter.com/cMC52ZKYbB— your friend, Dracula (@Remember_Sarah) October 22, 2020
Does this look like an appropriate father/son interaction to you? pic.twitter.com/WvoUDpw6eL— NoToughQuestionsHat (@Popehat) October 22, 2020
First Amendment attorney Ari Cohn joked that Cardillo must have had a distant relationship with his own father:
Lol sorry you had a shitty dad I guess— Ari Cohn (@AriCohn) October 22, 2020
Reached by New Times this morning, Cardillo said he and his dad had both read the comments on his post, and they found them hilarious.
"We'd never take a photo like that," Cardillo said.
Cardillo said what struck him about the photo was that it was staged. If the image had showed a candid moment, he said, he wouldn't have batted an eye.
"It's perfectly normal for a dad to kiss his son. If it was a candid moment of a dad kissing his son goodbye, that'd be fine," Cardillo said. "But Hunter Biden is staring at the camera like a hostage. That's creepy and weird and done for political reasons."
The real reason he posted the photo, Cardillo said, was to expose the "hypocrisy" of the left and the media by showing that they're more concerned about his reaction to the father/son photo than they are about Fox News reporter John Roberts' claim that Joe Biden had business and political ties to China.
Referring to the media, including New Times, Cardillo said: "You guys are embarrassing yourselves by focusing on the photo rather than on glaring, overwhelming evidence that Joe Biden profited off of his former office."
The business deal between Hunter and the Chinese firm alleged in the email was struck well after Joe Biden left office as vice president for President Barack Obama, according to the Daily Mail.
Trump, meanwhile, has also been accused of profiting off of the presidency by refusing to divest himself of his numerous businesses while in office. Some have argued that local and foreign government officials staying at Trump properties and paying the Trump brand is a violation of the Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, which Trump calls "phony."
No stranger to controversy, Cardillo has frequently been asked to answer for his inflammatory social media presence.
During a movement called #BlackBrunch in 2015, Black activists stormed expensive restaurants serving brunch in New York and California to protest police violence. Cardillo responded with a tweet saying: "I'm really enjoying these Eggs Benedict so move along now. #BlackBrunchNYC." He included a photo of himself pointing a handgun at the camera.
Cardillo has suggested that a U.S. civil war has started between the right and the left, claiming that those on the left are willing to kill others. He also defended Trump's use of the phrase, "When the looting starts, the shooting starts," which was coined by Miami Police Chief Walter Headley, who has been criticized for inciting violence against the Black community in the 1960s.
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