US Corporations Should Stay Out of Political Debate: Sen. McConnell

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) criticized corporate America for its reaction to Georgia’s recently passed election integrity law and spreading disinformation, warning that they should “stay out of politics.”

“This is a pretty competitive political environment in America, as I just pointed out—a 50:50 Senate. If I were running a major corporation, I’d stay out of politics,” McConnell said during a Monday press conference.

“So, my warning, if you will, to corporate America is to stay out of politics. It’s not what you’re designed for. And don’t be intimidated by the left into taking up causes that put you right in the middle of one of America’s greatest political debates,” added McConnell.

He criticized among others, Delta airlines for reacting to “partisan appeal,” adding, “Republicans drink Coca-Cola too, and we fly, and we like baseball.”

Republicans in Georgia enacted a set of election integrity changes last month that have become the target of criticism by Democrats, the White House, and large corporations like Major League Baseball (MLB).

Most of the criticisms center on the new law purportedly making it harder to vote, which allegedly amounts to voter suppression. President Joe Biden called the law “sick” for forcing polls to close at 5 p.m., a claim that even the fact-checkers at the left-wing Washington Post deemed “false.”

A review of the 98-page bill (pdf) shows that it would slightly restrict access to early voting while expanding it in other ways. Taken in its totality, the bill appears to have a negligible overall effect on how easy it will be to vote in Georgia during the next election.

Corporations including Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and MLB criticized the Georgia voting law. On Tuesday, MLB announced that it will move its upcoming All-Star game out of Atlanta—over the legislation—to Colorado.

“If they applied the same standard they applied to Georgia, they couldn’t have games in St. Louis because Missouri has a more restrictive voter law than Georgia, than the new Georgia law. What about the Mets and Yankees? New York has a more restrictive voter participation law than the new Georgia law,” McConnell said.

McConnell’s warning to these big companies comes as GOP lawmakers in Georgia and Washington call out corporations for falling in line with the left’s “woke” culture and engaging in conceivably hypocritical behavior.

“@MLB caves to pressure & moves draft & #AllStarGame out of Georgia on the same week they announce a deal with a company backed by the genocidal Communist Party of #China. Why are we still listening to these woke corporate hypocrites on taxes, regulations & anti-trust?” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) wrote in a tweet.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) criticized United Airlines who joined Delta Airlines in its opposition to part of the Georgia law.

“Travelers 18 years of age or older are required to have a valid, current U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID that contains name, date of birth, gender, expiration date, and a tamper-resistant feature for travel,” Crenshaw wrote on Monday. “That’s your policy, United. Pandering hypocrites. Just shut up.”

United Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Crenshaw’s criticism of its stance on the new election laws.

Meanwhile, in a Monday press statement, McConnell called out corporations, saying they are involved in misleading the American people about election laws so Democrats can justify enacting H.R. 1, a sweeping election reform package.

“We are witnessing a coordinated campaign by powerful and wealthy people to mislead and bully the American people,” McConnell said.

“This disinformation has a purpose. Washington Democrats want to pass a sweeping bill that would let them rewrite all 50 states’ election laws and turn the Federal Election Commission into a Democrat-run partisan body. This power grab is impossible to defend, so the left wants to deflect. Instead of winning the debate, they want to silence debate by bullying citizens and entire states into submission,” said McConnell.

Joining the growing number of corporations opposing Georgia’s new law, former American Express chief executive Kenneth Chenault and Ken Frazier, departing chief of Merck, released a joint letter, signed by 72 black executives, urging corporate America to stand up forcefully to oppose bills that they argue makes it harder for African Americans to cast a vote.

“When it comes to protecting the rights of all Americans to vote, there can be no middle ground,” states the letter.

In an interview on CNBC, Coca-Cola chief executive James Quincey responded to the black executives’ push and called the Georgia legislation a “step backward.”

“It does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia around broad access to voting, around voter convenience, about ensuring election integrity,” he said. “This legislation is wrong and needs to be remedied.”

Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.