The Brief: An image macro meme format from the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden shows Trump saying "don't ever use the word 'smart' with me."
During the first presidential debate, in an exchange that could easily be described as “bickering,” President Donald Trump insulted former Vice President Joe Biden’s intelligence, saying “don’t ever use the word smart with me.” This back and forth, in which both candidates took shots at each other’s intelligence, inspired a meme format about people trying to prove their intellectual superiority.
The exchange itself started with Biden saying (of COVID-19) “a lotta people died…and a lot more people are gonna die unless he gets a lot smarter, a lot quicker…” Trump responded with “did you use the word smart?” which he followed with insults about Joe Biden’s intelligence and education, falsely accusing him of not knowing the name of his college and of graduating last in his class. Trump then said “don’t ever use the word smart with me. Don’t ever use that word…because you know what, there’s nothing smart about you, Joe.”
“Did you use the word ‘smart’? Don’t ever use the word ‘smart’ with me…there’s nothing smart about you, Joe,” Trump says to Biden during the #PresidentialDebate.
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) September 30, 2020
Trump supporters lauded this insult as a solid jab at Biden’s intelligence…
— Maria Viti (@selfdeclaredref) September 30, 2020
And Trump’s opponents noted that his line could be misread as an accidental self-own.
"Don't ever use the word smart with me" is an inadvertently great line.
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) September 30, 2020