President Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted liberals for using economic boycotts as a political tactic despite his own long history of supporting such strategies.
The president was responding to recent calls for a boycott of Home Depot because of the financial support that retired co-founder Bernie Marcus has shown for him. Marcus said last month he will back Trump in 2020.
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“More and more the Radical Left is using Commerce to hurt their ‘Enemy.’ They put out the name of a store, brand or company, and ask their so-called followers not to do business there,” Trump wrote Tuesday night in the first of three-part tweet. “They don’t care who gets hurt, but also don’t understand that two can play that game!“
Trump wrapped up his statement with: “Fight for Bernie Marcus and Home Depot!“
The president’s rhetoric contrasted sharply with his call last month for his supporters to boycott AT&T for political reasons.
He tweeted on June 3: “I believe that if people stoped using or subscribing to @ATT, they would be forced to make big changes at @CNN, which is dying in the ratings anyway. It is so unfair with such bad, Fake News!”
Trump has frequently shown support for boycotts. In recent years, for instance, he has spoken or tweeted approvingly of boycotts of the NFL and/or Nike because some football players have declined to stand for the national anthem before games.
“If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our country, you will see change take place fast,” he wrote on Twitter in September 2017.
In 2015-16, he repeatedly called for Macy’s to be boycotted. For instance, in July 2015, he wrote on Twitter: “Boycott @Macys, no guts, no glory. Besides, there are far better stores!“
Some other examples from his Twitter account include:
— “Many @harleydavidson owners plan to boycott the company if manufacturing moves overseas. Great! Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors. A really bad move! U.S. will soon have a level playing field, or better.“ (Aug. 12, 2018)
— “We should boycott Fake News CNN. Dealing with them is a total waste of time!“ (Nov. 29, 2017)
— “Boycott all Apple products until such time as Apple gives cellphone info to authorities regarding radical Islamic terrorist couple.” (Feb. 19, 2016)
— “Anyone who wants strong borders and good trade deals for the US should boycott @Univision.“ (June 26, 2015)
The Home Depot controversy was sparked by recent comments by Marcus. On June 30, Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Marcus as saying he would be supporting Trump in the 2020 campaign as part of a larger discussion of his plans to donate much of his fortune to assorted causes.
The article said he had donated “about $2 billion to more than 300 organizations throughout the world over the course of his life.“ One of his most public donations was $250 million for the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, which opened in 2005.
OpenSecrets.org lists Marcus, a 90-year-old Atlanta resident, as one of the leading political donors of the 2018 midterm election season and the 2016 campaign via his Bernard Marcus Family Foundation. The 2018 donor list is topped by Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, a newly announced 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.
Marcus was one of the founders of Home Depot in 1979. He retired from the company in 2002.
According to The Hill, Home Depot said Marcus was not speaking for it. “Bernie retired from The Home Depot more than 15 years ago and isn’t speaking on behalf of the company,” a company spokeswoman said.