He donned a wide grin. He twirled in the gusting wind.
And for a few hours — as Representative George Santos, an embattled Republican from New York, awaits a third expulsion attempt — his 15-foot inflatable doppelganger drew the attention of spectators in front of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., Tuesday — and online.
The Santos balloon, which sported a black suit, signature large spectacles, and a red tie emblazoned with the words “full of lies,” even earned praise from the freshman congressman himself, who called it “flattering.”
“The thing was like bouncing around, super like happy, and I’m like yeah, that’s absolutely representative of me,” Santos said of the balloon on X Spaces, part of the platform formerly known as Twitter.
The balloon was launched by MoveOn, a progressive political action group that has called on the House to expel Santos following a scathing House Ethics Committee report that found “substantial evidence” that he violated federal criminal laws and ethics guidelines.
Santos has acknowledged he will likely be expelled during this third vote. If so, he would be the sixth member of the House in history to be expelled from the body.
“Are we to now assume that one is no longer innocent until proven guilty, and they are in fact guilty until proven innocent?” he said Tuesday. “I ask that all my colleagues in the House consider and understand what this means for the future.”
“Do u ever feel… like a George Santos balloon… drifting through the wind… wanting to start again,” one person joked about the balloon on X.
“Disappointing the Santos balloon is not wearing a sweater vest or a plum colored blazer,” added another.
Some of the findings in the ethics report included Santos allegedly misusing campaign funds to pay for Botox and purchases from OnlyFans and his staff calling him a “fabulist” who lied a concerning amount. Although Santos announced that he will not run for reelection following its release, he is refusing to step down, vowing on the floor Tuesday that he will “not be resigning.”
His track record of misrepresenting himself and fabricating parts of his resume provided fodder for those on social media.
“Surprisingly, this balloon is filled with less hot air than Santos himself,” said David Trone, a progressive Democrat running for Senate in Maryland.
“I’m celebrating with my Macy’s parade day limited edition George Santos balloon! It is a little windy though!” another person commented.
See more reactions to the balloon below:
This George Santos balloon is:— Paul Rudnick (@PaulRudnickNY) November 28, 2023
- Too flattering
- A recycled Elise Stefanik balloon
- A Chinese spy balloon trying to blend in
- Alone because the Macy's balloons refused to appear with him
- Lauren Boebert's new boyfriend
- The VP for the Trump balloon
- Actually George Santos pic.twitter.com/Oy7ZueUmpD