Here’s the latest on the New Jersey ‘Baby Trump’ balloons
BEDMINSTER — Two of the six balloons portraying President Donald Trump as a diaper-wearing baby that were ordered thanks to a large fundraising effort have made their way to New Jersey and could see their first official flights within a month.
Despite an uproar caused by a billboard in Union County that calls Trump an "idiot," the organizer behind the Trump balloons — which are not affiliated with the roadside advertisement — said that the reaction has been "99 percent positive, if not higher."
The balloons, which took center stage during President Trump's visit to the United Kingdom, will be flown not only in New Jersey but around the country, according to one of the organizers of the "Baby Trump Tour." After seeing the popularity of the balloons in Europe, organizers established a GoFundMe to raise $4,500 to bring the balloon across the pond. By the time the drive was done they had raised almost $24,000, allowing for the purchase of six balloons.
"I believe that this is a factual yet comical characterization of our president," organizer Jim Girvan said. "I think that it truly represents what he is, and that's what our intent is, for people to see him exactly for what he is, a petulant child."
Unlike when the balloon was showcased in London, Girvan said in New Jersey it will be a stationary display, which will still comply with legal regulations. When President Trump is in town, the FAA issues a Temporary Flight Restriction for the airspace around him. But Girvan said the balloon will still be able to fly without violating the restrictions.
Since Trump's visits to New Jersey are usually not known until a few days before his arrival, Girvan called it a "crapshoot" whether the balloon's maiden voyage would coincide with a visit from its inspiration.
"The display may encourage others to register, may encourage others to vote," Girvan said. "We don't necessarily think that at this point in the evolution of the Republican Party and his base, we don't necessarily expect to change a Republican vote to a Democrat."
The balloons may not be ready for their public debut yet, but there was a test flight of one of the balloons done recently, according to NJ.com. Girvan told the website that the test went well, and was done to show the people involved in the project how to handle the large balloon.
At least one woman has threatened to shoot down the balloons. Girvan said that his group is aware of threats like that but doesn't "necessarily take those threats seriously." He also said threats of that nature are "not unexpected given the radical type of response that it brings out in some people."
If the rest of the balloons are delivered on schedule, Girvan said they could go airborne within the next month in New Jersey and sent to other organizations across the country for displays with partner organizations.