By Brendan O’Brien
CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump received a split decision on Wednesday from tens of thousands of Twitter followers after he posted an image of his head superimposed on the muscular body of Rocky Balboa, a fictional boxer from the movie series “Rocky.”
The post was retweeted 124,000 times and received almost 405,000 likes as of 6:30 p.m. EST (0030 GMT) as many followers responded with memes and photos of their own, comparing Trump’s physique to that of former President Barack Obama.
Followers cheered Trump on with messages of support, saying there is a “fighter in the White House” and thanked him for “being our champion.”
“No president has ever fought as hard as President @realDonaldTrump on behalf of hardworking, taxpaying, Constitution supporting, God-fearing, middle- and working-class, patriotic, everyday, American citizens,” tweeted Allen Sutton, editor of the StewardshipAmerica.com website.
His detractors used the tweet as an opportunity to take swings at Trump, calling the Republican president “delusional” and “narcissistic.”
“Is it just me or did this Trump Rocky photo make anyone else throw up in their mouth a little?” tweeted actress Angela Belcamino.
Actor Sylvester Stallone, who said “I love Donald Trump” in a 2016 interview with Variety, played Rocky Balboa in the “Rocky” movie series about a washed-up fighter in Philadelphia who rose up the ranks to win the heavyweight championship of the world.
“Rocky IV,” in which Balboa beat Russian Ivan Drago, opened in theatres on this date in 1985, which could explain why Trump posted the image on Wednesday.
Trump, however, did not include text in the post. Some in the media speculated that it was in reference to his ability to fight off controversy during the ongoing impeachment inquiry in Congress.
Others suggested that the image alluded to comments he made on Tuesday about his health during a rally in Florida, where he said doctors told him he had a “gorgeous chest” during a recent physical.
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; editing by Bill Tarrant and Richard Chang)