As if Gov. Gavin Newsom didn’t earn enough criticism for traveling to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, he was positively roasted online after a photo op with children went sideways.
The California Democrat created a social media uproar in a now-viral video that showed him playing basketball with children in China. The moment that captured attention was Newsom’s unfortunate fall – on top of a young boy.
His rollover with the boy and his attempt to play off the whole thing with a playful pat on the child’s back earned the governor a shower of mockery online for the sheer cringe factor.
Gavin Newsom,The governor of California is in a primary school in Beijing. pic.twitter.com/NgJf9GRK5E
— Sharing Travel (@TripInChina) October 29, 2023
Newsom sparked criticism for his planned week-long trip amid continuing tensions in U.S.-China relations. And the meeting with Xi Jinping fueled speculation about whether he is setting himself up as a Democratic Party candidate for president in 2024.
The optics of the basketball wipe-out set off a wave of commentary on X, formerly Twitter.
“I can’t stop watching this clip of Gavin Newsom playing basketball in China where he slips and flattens a kid then plays it off by pretending to beat the kid up,” commentator Kate Hyde tweeted.
“OMG my governor is so cool and relatable! Watch him take out a small child while desperately trying to emulate Barack Obama while on a foreign visit to one of the world’s leading dictators,” tweeted Julie Hamill, the founder of Alliance of Los Angeles County Parents.
Grabien founder Tom Elliott wrote that Newsom is “second only to @BarackObama in his use of kids as foil for validating delusions of basketball grandeur.”
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 29, 2023
“Gavin Newsom RAN OVER a small Chinese child while playing basketball in China!!! Why is Gavin Newsom in China in the first place?!?!!” media personality Graham Allen wanted to know.
“Why is Gavin Newsom in China at all? There is no way he could possibly think that would be good optics.” asked College Fix reporter Benjamin Rothove
Why is Gavin Newsom in China at all? There is no way he could possibly think that would be good optics. https://t.co/xWRJS1k3hq
— Benjamin Rothove (@BenjaminRothove) October 29, 2023
And the comments continued:
At least Joe Biden doesn’t tackle children before sniffing their hair .. 😒
— Michael O’Hogan (@MichaelOHogan1) October 29, 2023
What a Dork..He’s such a used cars salesman.
— TheSilentMajority_ (@TheSilentMajo) October 29, 2023
100% charge. Kid had his feet set and held his position.
— JustElliot (@JustElliot2) October 29, 2023
While his state is floundering in problems, with residents moving away from it, what does he do?
Plays pickup basketball with children of the communist party.
We don’t need this guy, or anyone like him, as president.
— bad_bagel (@MakapuuDreams) October 29, 2023
This is so cringe
— Olya (@OlyaKarLott) October 29, 2023
And then he smacks him on the butt.
— Jim Noland (Flawed Human) (@PA_PATRIOT_1) October 29, 2023