Behind the 'Nacho Man' at UCF's Donald Trump rally
Donald Trump held a rally at the CFE arena on March 5 where a protest was also held. Veronica Brezina
An ex-Marine eating nachos during a Donald Trump rally has become one of the most popular memes of the primary race.
Marius Loots, a freshman marketing major and five-year Marine Rifleman was fed a nacho at a Trump rally at UCF, and the country went wild. Pictures of Loots and his friend, an officer candidate in the Marines, feeding each other behind Trump during his rally were shared on national news.
“It was definitely immature, but a guy next to me was wearing a unitard, so what the hell,” Loots said, “[My friend] and I were just trying to pass the time.”
Loots left the Marines at 28 years old to start school in Orlando. He and his friend, who declined to share his name, were not planning on attending the rally until they received a phone call from the organization Veterans for Trump, which invites service veterans to Trump's rallies and events.
Loots told Veterans for Trump that he was neither for nor against presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Once the organization determined he was not a threat and was not planning to protest at the rally, they offered him and his friend VIP seating.
"At this point, I had no plans and genuinely wanted to experience a Trump rally in person," Loots said, “[I was] suspicious of the media’s talk of racism and snippets of violence. We never planned to do anything because we had no idea how good our spots would be. Everything we did was for our friends and family.”
Loots said that he and his friend had waited for more than four hours for the rally to begin, so they got hungry. They decided to purchase water and popcorn in addition to pork and cheese nachos.
Half-way through Trump’s speech, Loots said he grew “tired of listening to him bounce between [expletive] jokes, personal accomplishments and historically inaccurate stories of General Perishing defeating terrorism by using bullets dipped in pig’s blood,” so he decided to ask his friend to feed him the last chip.
"When you’re an hour late for your own rally and just don’t care about the substance of your speech, I’m going to eat nachos behind you and take selfies." Loots said.
Reinaldo Rivera Jr., a junior integrated business major, didn't perceive a political motivation behind the nacho-eating incident.
“It really just shows that they may not be that interested in Trump," Rivera said. "It’s a little funny, but it is something youths will do, so it is not a big deal.”
While Rivera said it was not a big deal, the Internet disagreed. News organizations picked it up and interviewed Loots on multiple occasions. Comments on a livestream of the rally suggested that Loots and friends were coordinating protests on their cell phones.
Loots said security at the rally took great interest in what happened. Besides being fed a nacho, Loots said he didn't want to hold a Trump sign and so he and his friend left them on the ground. Minutes later, the two were approached by a security guard who asked if they were OK.
“We also spent some time observing the Secret Service, noticing that one stood directly behind us and later another followed suit," Loots said. "These two, along with a few other security, specifically escorted us out immediately after Trump’s closing remarks, one taking pictures of our faces on the way out.”
Loots wasn’t the only person to be escorted out of the rally on March 5.
Jesse Rubens, president of Knights for Hillary, said he attended the rally to “have the Trump Rally Experience."
Rubens wore a button-down shirt over a T-shirt that featured Hillary Clinton. When Donald Trump began talking about how untrustworthy the Clinton family is, Rubens said he shouted “Then why did you donate to the Clinton Foundation multiple times?”
Rubens said Trump shouted “Get ‘em outta here," in response.
"[Security then] guided me towards the exit and made sure I left," Rubens said
Rubens was not disappointed, however, and said the rally met his expectations of the "Trump Rally Experience."
Brianna Ordenes is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future.