The position of Republicans as the American Business Party appears to be under threat after Mitch McConnell, the minority leader in the Senate, told CEOs who criticized voting restrictions to “stay out of politics. “.
Last week, Coca-Cola, Delta and dozens of other companies condemned a new election law in Georgia, while Major League Baseball announced it would move the All-Star Game out of the state in protest.
“I found it completely disheartening to find a group of corporate CEOs getting in the middle of politics,” McConnell said at a news conference in his home state of Kentucky on Monday. “My advice to corporate CEOs in the United States is to stay out of politics. Don’t choose sides in these big fights. “
He warned companies not to give in to promotional campaigns. “It is astonishing to see that powerful American institutions not only allow themselves to be intimidated, but join the intimidation themselves,” he said.
McConnell too issued a written statement which claimed that Georgia’s new law had been unfairly portrayed and lamented “a coordinated campaign by powerful and wealthy people to deceive and intimidate the American people.”
After protesting against the “Outrageous Industrial Complex,” the senator continued: “Americans do not need or want big business to amplify disinformation or react to any controversy manufactured with frenzied leftist signals.
“From electoral law to environmentalism, to radical social agendas and the Second Amendment, parts of the private sector continue to dabble in behaving like an awakened parallel government. Corporations will have serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to take over our country outside of the constitutional order. “
He did not elaborate on the warning, but the comments imply a significant break after decades in which big business tended to favor Republicans and give them the bulk of campaign contributions, enjoying the benefits of low taxes and limited government regulation.
Now, however, companies face increased pressure to demonstrate that they are socially responsible actors and to take a position on political issues. The new restrictions in Georgia and elsewhere are expected to have a disproportionate impact on voters of color.
The White House denied McConnell’s claim of a coordinated campaign to mislead the public. Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: “We have not asked corporations for specific actions; that’s not our focus here.
“Our approach is to continue to convey that it is important that voting is easier, not more difficult, than when there are laws in place that make it more difficult, we certainly express our opposition to those laws.”
Former President Donald Trump spent months falsely claiming that his defeat in the 2020 election was the result of widespread electoral fraud. It failed dozens of court challenges and its own attorney general, William Barr, reported no significant wrongdoing.
Still, lawmakers in 47 states this year have introduced 361 bills that impose new restrictions on voting, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Georgia, which Joe Biden narrowly won, will strengthen identification requirements for absentee ballots and make it a crime to offer food or water to voters in a row.
The activists condemned Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines, both major companies in Georgia, for being silent on the issue, but eventually relented. Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO, said: “The entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie – that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 election.”
James Quincey, director of Coca-Cola, described the law as “unacceptable” and a “step backwards.”
Some Republicans have suggested adopting a new identity as a working-class party. Trump issued an angry email statement Saturday denouncing “AWAKENING CULTURE CANCELED” and calling for a boycott of Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola, Delta and other companies.
“Never give up, never give up!” he wrote. “The Radical Left will destroy our Country if we allow it. We will not become a socialist nation. Happy Easter!”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism