Bill De Blasio Shared His Debate Prep Texts With His Son & Twitter Did Not Buy It

by Caroline Burke
Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The mayor of New York City is running for president, and his campaign appears to be a family affair. Bill de Blasio shared debate advice from his son on Monday in the form of a series of WhatsApp screenshots posted to Twitter, asking for insight on how to behave at the upcoming Democratic primary debates this week. But many people weren't having it — and some even suggested the back-and-forth between de Blasio and his son, Dante was staged.

On Monday afternoon, de Blasio tweeted, "Lucky to have the talented, debater Dante de Blasio helping me get ready for Wednesday!" Attached to the tweet were three screenshots, which opened with a not-so-subtle message from dad:

Dante, the debate's coming up. I'm preparing intensely, but I must admit I'm a little nervous. What advice do you have for me? Thanks! Love you! Dad

At another point, de Blasio peppered his son's apparent debate success into their conversation, writing, "You were a champion debater: tell me how I can really make my presence felt on that stage." Dante's responses matched his father in tone. He wrote at one point, "Make sure your message is straightforward, talk about your accomplishments, and treat your opponents with respect."

There were also a few stabs at humor. Dante wrote to his dad,

First of all, you're going to have to establish credibility, especially among skeptical young voters. Tell the story of how you met mom while working as a young staffer at city hall and weave it into a reflection about how hard it is to find, like, "the one" on tinder.

You can read the full message transcription here, if you haven't already. The tweet immediately sparked attention towards de Blasio, probably not in the way he intended. Many, many Twitter users were not buying this conversation at all, for a number of reasons. Here are some of the responses from the Twitter universe following the family chat:

"Somebody...Thought This Was A Good Idea"

"There's somebody out there that actually thought this was a good idea," one user tweeted. "Let that sink in for a bit."

"This Looks Like The Convos My Dad And I Have"

Amateur MMA Fighter Tony Posnanski shared an apparent parody of de Blasio's tweet. In his message, he "wrote" to his dad, "Dad. I need to get better on Twitter."

Just like Dante, his father replied, "I'm glad you asked." He followed up with: "I think you need to swear more."

"Have Some Dignity"

Some users spoke directly to de Blasio. One user tweeted, "Jesus Christ dude have some dignity."

"Isn't It Funnier To Imagine It Is Not Faked"

"i get it it is funny to just take at face value that this is faked by de blasio to look relatable," another user wrote. "but.... isnt it funnier to imagine it is not faked and it is just bill showing us how even his son cant take his presidential run seriously and dunks on him over text ! ! !"

"Dante Should Be Livid At You For This."

Still other users lamented the reputation of Dante. "Dante should be livid at you for this," one user tweeted.

"Even Dante Can't Think Of An Accomplishment For You To Cite."

"Even Dante can't think of an accomplishment for you to cite," one user wrote, providing one of the harsher zings of the evening.

De Blasio will be debating a section of the other Democratic presidential candidates on Wednesday. The debate will take place from nine to 11 in the evening on NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo. You can tune in to see if de Blasio took his son's advice on referencing Tinder and dogs, and you can be sure to count on Twitter to keep track of Dante's advice as well.