Donald Trump loves hurling insults—and what better place to do it than Twitter, where he can not only fire off his own, but also retweet the nasty missives other Twitter users send to him.
But even he regrets having retweeted this jab that came his way today (Oct. 22):
Ostensibly the knock here was on presidential candidate Ben Carson, currently Trump’s closest rival in the Republican field. But it also took a strike at much bigger, arguably more formidable target: Monsanto.
When you’re campaigning for votes in Iowa, questioning a powerful Midwestern US agriculture giant is a bold move to make. And tying that message to an insult against the mental capacity of Iowa voters who consume one of their state’s most important crops makes it downright reckless.
Sure enough, the tweet has now been deleted and blamed on a young intern:
But the kerfuffle comes at interesting time: Congress is currently considering Monsanto-supported legislation to set a national labeling standard for genetically modified food. The bill, which would ban state-by-state restrictions of the type that already are in place in Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine, currently has bipartisan support, as Iowa Public Radio reported today. But anti-GMO advocates worry that the federal standard will be significantly looser than those the states with such restrictions have put in place.
A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign tells Quartz that Trump’s position on GMOs is “nothing we’re discussing today, but happy to consider … in the future,” with a policy paper due out in the next couple of months. “Mr. Trump loves the people of Iowa and looks forward to being back in Sioux City on Tuesday,” she says.