Imagine delegates to the Republican National Convention opening the local newspaper Tuesday and finding an image of a stylized scorpion — wearing a signature red hat with white lettering. The hat reads: “The Donald.”
That’s how billionaire Miami healthcare magnate Mike Fernandez wanted to portray his political party's presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump, in the GOP convention’s host city, Cleveland.
But he won't get a chance to — not in Cleveland, at least.
The Plain Dealer newspaper asked Fernandez to remove Trump’s name from the ad copy for publication. They wanted Fernandez to call Trump “the nominee” or “the candidate” — and to do away with the red hat.
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Fernandez, who helped bankroll Jeb Bush’s Republican presidential campaign and who has made a habit of publishing anti-Trump ads in newspapers across the country, said no.
“I cannot believe that it was rejected because they would not allow me to have the name Donald Trump in the ad itself,” Fernandez told the Miami Herald in an email. “But where there is a will there is a way. I will be placing in every search engine within 20 miles of the convention center the pop up directing people to the ad that the Cleveland newspaper did not want them to see.”
The Plain Dealer could not be immediately reached for comment. Fernandez provided the Miami Herald with an email from the newspaper’s advertising department asking for the changes to the ad. The full-page ad will run in the Herald on Tuesday.
In December, a Trump attorney threatened to sue Fernandez over an earlier anti-Trump piece. No suit has been filed.
The latest full-page ad features a version of the story about the scorpion and the turtle — which some people know as the scorpion and the frog — in which a scorpion is looking for a ride across a river. It asks the turtle to give it a lift.
“If I do, you will sting me, and I know your poison would kill me,” the turtle says in the ad. The scorpion responds, “Trust me, buddy. I would never do that. If I stung you, my poison would kill you; then you would sink, and I would drown.”
The turtle agrees to the favor. Halfway across, the scorpion stings the turtle. As they both begin to drown, the turtle asks the scorpion why. “Because it’s my nature,” the scorpion answers.
The ad, which also shows a stylized turtle, prints Fernandez’s message after the fable. He decries Trump as “narcissistic, racist, egomaniac” and warns fellow Republicans to “be ready to be stung by the scorpion.”
“This election, I promise you, is bigger than Donald or Hillary,” wrote Fernandez, a Cuban American who has said he’d vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton over Trump. “As an adopted son of our great nation, I along with millions of others, am clamoring for the people to awaken to the threat in our midst. It is doubtful that a real alternative to Trump will emerge. That leaves just this option — not to support him.”