Speed Reads

no points for creativity

Why Trump's nickname for Beto might just be 'Robert'

Another Democrat in the race, another original nickname from President Trump.

Or so we thought. Because on Thursday, after Beto O'Rourke threw his name in the 2020 hat, Trump's team revealed it would likely just call the ex-Senate candidate by his given name — a more subtle sideswipe that could foreshadow how Trump will take on his latest competitor.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley made a Fox News appearance Thursday morning to discuss O'Rourke's candidacy — but not before reiterating that the former congressman's real name is "Robert Francis." That prompted host Bill Hemmer to ask if that's "how the president will refer to" O'Rourke, to which Gidley responded "Why wouldn't he — that's his name."

Gidley didn't mention that Hogan is his middle name, and that he's actually named John. Similarly, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) didn't acknowledge that his real name is Rafael when trying to drag O'Rourke during their Senate matchup.

Irony aside, Gidley's condescension puts O'Rourke on the cusp of a joining a small group of non-nicknamed Trump enemies. 2020 contender and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has so far avoided a moniker, which former New Jersey governor Chris Christie suggested means he "respects" her. Trump also just calls House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) by her first name. Then again, judging by Trump's first impression of O'Rourke as a candidate, we could be looking at another 599 days with "Crazy Hands Robert." Kathryn Krawczyk