That pile of steaks Donald Trump showed America during his speaking event Tuesday night at the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter were certainly Trump steaks.
But they weren’t Trump Steaks.
During the show-and-tell portion of his address, the Republican front-runner for the presidency decided to present proof that claims made by Mitt Romney about Trump’s past failed business ventures were wrong.
“I have very successful companies, let me explain,” Trump said. “I’m going to do this in about two seconds.”
With an array of products behind him, Trump was there to display the evidence. And Exhibit B was the steaks.
“We have Trump Steaks,” Trump proclaimed, pointing to a cutting board full of raw, uncooked steaks in individually sealed plastic packaging.
Romney listed Trump Steaks, frozen steaks that were briefly sold in 2007 through the Sharper Image catalog, as one of Trump’s failed business ventures. And yet, there they were on Tuesday night, apparently back from oblivion.
“And by the way, if you want to take one, we’ll charge you about 50 bucks a steak. No, I’m only kidding,” Trump told his supporters, who were eating up his shtick.
But if they would have looked a little closer at the purported Trump Steaks they would have seen the plastic bags they were in — Caution: irony alert ahead —were marked with the words “Bush Brothers” and contained a logo for the Bush Brothers Provision Company, a meat supplier for South Florida’s country clubs and yachts.
Bush Brothers has nothing to do with the political Bush brothers. It’s just a West Palm Beach business that has been run by the same family since 1925.
“We sell to Trump National and some of the other Trump properties in the area,” explained Jessica Bush.
And are the steaks Trump Steaks?
“No, there’s no tie in to Trump,” Bush said. “We had no idea he was going to show them. But I guess it’s not surprising because our steaks are up there at the property.”
So in other words, those steaks Trump were showing were Trump Steaks in the same way that the carpet in the room was Trump Carpet or the microphone he was using was Trump Microphone.
As for the real Trump Steaks, the ones that Romney mentioned, you have to go to the Sharper Image website, where the product’s fate is spelled out as a long-discontinued piece of nostalgia.
“Get ready for a Sharper Image flashback! The year was 2007 … NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice rode the top of the ratings charts and Donald Trump himself graced our June catalog cover to promote a unique partnership,” the Sharper Image site reads. “Like Mr. Trump himself, ‘Trump Steaks’ were in a league of their own — USDA Prime Certified Angus Beef, flash frozen and shipped in a deluxe ‘presentation box.’
“Unfortunately, Trump Steaks are no longer available, but their legacy endures,” the site continues. “And, whether you think Donald Trump’s candidacy is real steak or just sizzle, we hope you’ll enjoy this blast from the past.”
Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to sell $999 packages of frozen steaks from a store known for its massage chairs. Or maybe they weren’t “The World’s Greatest Steaks,” as advertised.
Whatever the reason, Trump Steaks lasted months, not years.
The takeaway from Tuesday’s amateurish show-and-tell is that Trump is a pretty reckless guy.
Either that, or he has come to believe that he can operate in a fact-free zone comfortably and without consequence.
After all, it couldn’t have taken more than five minutes to remove the Bush Brothers packaging from the dozen or so steaks on that cutting board. It would have at least perpetuated the Trump Steaks ruse in a more professional manner.
To not even remove the telltale packaging shows a lack of respect for the people who desperately want to believe everything he says.