Rhode Island calamari chef from viral 2020 DNC video announces he’s backing Trump: ‘We need a businessman’

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A Rhode Island calamari chef behind a viral 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC) appearance says America needs a businessman in charge – so he’s backing former President Trump.

“[We need someone to run] the United States like a business and to help the people who live here – creating jobs, keeping lower prices, and seeing the whole bottom line work out for everybody,” John Bordieri, executive chef at Iggy’s Boardwalk in Warwick, Rhode Island, told “Fox & Friends First” Monday.

Bordieri went viral as the “calamari comeback” chef when the tiny state made a big impression at the DNC ahead of the faceoff between Trump and now-President Biden. 


Chef John Bordieri of Iggys Boardwalk in Rhode Island

Chef John Bordieri of Iggy’s Boardwalk in Rhode Island stands in the video (left) and speaks to Fox News (right). (Fox & Friends First/Screengrab)

Dressed in all black, wearing a face mask and holding a plate of sautéed, buttered calamari, Bordieri stood beside then-state Democratic Party Chair Joseph McNamara, who proudly announced that the “calamari comeback” state had cast one vote for independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and 34 votes for Biden.

The video aired during the DNC’s roll call as Ocean State Democrats formally nominated Biden for president.

It also made Rhode Island trend on X, then known as Twitter, putting Bordieri into the spotlight and leading some to coin him as the “calamari ninja.”

Now, four years later, Bordieri insists Trump is the man for the job and plans to vote Republican in November despite being “told to tell everybody that I’m independent,” the Associated Press reported.


Donald Trump speaking

Chef John Bordieri says he’s supporting former President Trump because he believes America needs a businessman in charge. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“I just always believe business is business. The politicians… I don’t want to dis them or anything, but you always hear they’re going to make up stories, and they are going to help you, and they’re going to do this, they’re going to do that for you. I think Donald Trump did an awful lot while he was in office for the four years that he was here,” he told co-host Carley Shimkus.

Like many Americans, he says the economy is his top concern, citing home prices, high interest rates and inflationary pressures on businesses.

“I feel for the kids of my son’s age and stuff like that who want to buy a home right now. They’re going to pay for these overinflated prices, have high interest rates, and it’s going to crush them,” he continued. 


U.S. President Joe Biden

President Biden continues to take hits from some voters who are dissatisfied with the economy and state of the nation overall under his watch. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“They need to make a ton of money, more so than what they’re making right now, or even what I’m making right now. You need more money just to stay on top of things. Everything’s just going up in price over and over.”

Continuing on that note, he claimed that prices are going up on a “weekly” and sometimes “daily” basis, and hikes in supply costs have rendered the Rhode Island eatery little choice but to raise their own prices or cut back in some areas to avoid gouging customers.

“We want everybody to come in and have a very full meal and enjoy themselves without having to worry about the bottom line and having to pay that bill,” he said.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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