When Blaise Ingoglia, the chairman of Florida’s Republican Party, got up to speak at the GOP’s national convention on Tuesday to pledge his state’s 99 delegates to Donald Trump, he spoke glowingly of the many attributes his state has to offer.
Disney World, the Daytona 500, the Florida Keys and the lack of a state income tax were some of Florida’s features Ingoglia — a state representative from the state’s west coast — highlighted in his introduction.
“Florida is the paradise where you vacation,” Ingoglia beamed, “but we all live.”
As if sunshine and “600 miles of pristine beaches” weren’t enough to get those inside Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland ready to pack a bag and head south, Ingoglia tried to troll the locals.
Never miss a local story.
The arena this week’s GOP convention is being held in is usually the home to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Last month, James led the Cavs to their first NBA title as Cleveland won its lone major professional sports championship since the Browns won it all in 1964.
Ingoglia felt compelled to remind everyone — just in case anyone forgot — James once called Miami home and won his first championships with the Heat in 2012 and ’13.
James, after four seasons in Miami with the Heat, went back to the Cavaliers in 2014. The Akron native has played in six consecutive NBA Finals — four with the Heat and the past two with the Cavs.
“We are the state,” Ingoglia said, “that gave LeBron James his first two championships.”
Ingoglia’s attempt at a burn brought both laughs and groans.
Cleveland’s NBC affiliate posted a story on its website with the headline “Florida delegate fails epically.”
“In reality,” the WKYC-3 story went, “James earned them and won them for Miami -- with some help from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
“If anything, we think the state of Florida should be thanking Akron and Cleveland.”
Dan Le Batard may disagree.