Carlos Gutierrez was the secretary of Commerce under President George W. Bush, but now he’s trying to convince the business community that Donald Trump would be bad for business.
Gutierrez, who is also the former CEO of Kellogg’s, is one of a dozen corporate leaders who signed an open letter to the business community urging them to denounce Trump
“It’s a hiring position. We have some resumes that we’re looking at and [Trump’s] resume I discarded very early on,” Gutierrez told USA TODAY. “The purpose of the letter is to let other Republicans, who are also having second thoughts and instincts telling them that they should not be voting for Donald Trump, know that they’re not alone. There are many other Republicans who have chosen to put country before party.”
The full letter, which is available on trumpisbadforbusiness.org, begins:
“The undersigned individuals are owners, CEOs and executives of American businesses, small and large. We can’t support Donald Trump because we are convinced he would be bad for business, bad for the economy, and bad for the people who work for our companies, buy our products and services, and invest in our companies.”
Jack McGregor, a former Republican state representative for Pennsylvania and founder of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, told USA TODAY he would have “absolutely” been open to another Republican candidate. In fact, he gave checks to six of them, but the day Trump got the nomination he became unaffiliated with the Republican Party.
He said he plans to return to the Republican Party unless, “Trump — perish the thought — is elected president.”
McGregor’s message to business leaders who are unsure about supporting Clinton: “Trump has been far more unsuccessful in business than he has been successful, whether it’s Trump University, Trump casinos, Trump hotels — such as the Plaza in New York — Trump steaks, Trump vodka. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if his branching off into golf courses will ultimately prove unsuccessful. For him to run as a successful businessman is borderline a joke.”
Gutierrez and McGregor are two of the three Republicans in the group. They are joined by six independents and three Democrats.
“The thing that matters the most is predictability. What businesses need is the ability to plan and to plan they have to know what is coming in the future in terms of policies, regulations, they need to understand the climate,” Joseph Kopser, co-founder of the technology company RideScout and global president of moovel Group said, before adding that Trump’s history shows he doesn’t stand for any of that.
Whitney Tilson, who manages the Kase Capital hedge fund and describes himself as a moderate Democrat who voted for Republicans down-ballot, said it’s worth it for him to speak out despite the risk of losing pro-Trump investors.
“I think the business community is very important, very influential. But I see too many business leaders, in my opinion, being cowardly. They know that Trump is a madman. They know that a President Trump would be terrible for their businesses and for their stock prices, and yet they’re not saying anything,” Tilson said.
The full list of signatories is below:
- Jose Andres, chef and founder of ThinkFoodGroup
- Bill Cummings, founder, Cummings Properties
- Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of Flexjobs
- Mike Fernandez, founder and Chairman of MBF Healthcare Partners
- Carlos Gutierrez, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and former Chairman and CEO of the Kellogg Company
- Joseph Kopser, co-founder of RideScout
- Monica Lozano, former Chairman and CEO of U.S. Hispanic Media, Inc.
- Jack McGregor, former CEO of Aquarion and founder of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins
- Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga
- Reshma Saujani, CEO, Girls Who Code
- Whitney Tilson, founder and Managing Partner of Kase Capital Management
- Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia