Why is Donald Trump obsessed with Tic Tacs?

Getty Images is flooded with photos of Trump holding containers of Tic Tacs, and not just for breath reasons

By Kelly McClure

Nights & Weekends Editor

Published June 22, 2024 6:52PM (EDT)

Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds packages of Tic Tacs as he delivers the keynote address at the Faith & Freedom Coalition's 2024 Road to Majority Conference in Washington, DC, on June 22, 2024. (CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds packages of Tic Tacs as he delivers the keynote address at the Faith & Freedom Coalition's 2024 Road to Majority Conference in Washington, DC, on June 22, 2024. (CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Covering Donald Trump's various speaking engagements these past few weeks, it seems like every time I go into Getty Images to pull photos of the man, there are dozens showing him at the podium clutching a container of Tic Tacs in each hand. It took me a while to land here, sure, but on this very day, I began to question — why is the former president seemingly obsessed with the sugary treat my farmer grandfather used to keep in his shirt pocket? Turns out, the answer's simple. He loves a prop.

A deep dive into Trump + Tic Tacs on Google yields results going all the way back to 2019, with an article from The Washington Post detailing that he provided his housekeepers with strict instructions to set out "exactly two full containers and one half-full container in his bedroom bureau" daily.   

The White House press secretary at the time, Stephanie Grisham, issued a statement disputing this, saying, "The assertions made for this story are not only false, they are a disgusting attempt at invading the privacy of the First Family." But, there must have been something to it because he's still out here rattling those things around. 

In May, during a speech in Minnesota, Trump brought his Tic Tacs out for the world to see, using them to illustrate how he feels as though Biden is doing inflation wrong and he's doing it right.

"Biden blamed his economic disaster on companies shrinking the size of their Snickers bars. Can you believe that?" he said, reaching into his pockets. "But you know, it's a funny thing. I don't know if you can see it out there. Does anybody have good eyes out there? I just got this today. Somebody handed it to me, and not as a joke." 

Here, he produces for the crowd a teeny-tiny container of Tic Tacs.

"Look at the size of that sucker. This is called Biden Tic Tacs. This is inflation."


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On Saturday, Trump rolled out his candy man routine again — since it went over so well the first time — wielding his little Tacs during a speech to Christian conservative voters at a Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in Washington DC.  

At this point, it's safe to wonder if they'll make an appearance at the presidential debate on Thursday. It's easy to imagine Biden reacting to the props with something along the lines of, "Stop shaking those things at me, Jack."

But, as with everything else he does, his followers are on board with Tacs-talk. Tacs-props. And whatever else Trump has in those pockets of his.

"MAKE TIC TACS GREAT AGAIN," @TrumpMAGADONIAN tweeted after Trump's speech today, where he causally spoke of there not being a need to vote at all four years from now.

Turning back the clock even further, we're reminded that Tic Tacs were on hand during Trump's "locker room" comment, where he spoke of making a move on "Days of Our Lives" star Arianne Zucker to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush, saying, "I've got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait." 

To this, the candy company issued a statement saying, "Tic Tac respects all women. We find the recent statements and behavior completely inappropriate and unacceptable."

“He thinks that because he has a mouthful of Tic Tacs he can force himself on any woman within groping distance,” Elizabeth Warren said back in 2016, commenting on the above. 

Marketing campaigns have been built and broken over such things. But at least it's not Milk Duds. Can you imagine?


By Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is Salon's Nights and Weekends Editor covering daily news, politics and culture. Her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere.

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Donald Trump Joe Biden Tic Tac