McConnell: 'Republicans Drink Coca-Cola, Too'

He says it's 'stupid' for corporations to wade into political issues
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 6, 2021 12:24 PM CDT
McConnell: 'Republicans Drink Coca-Cola, Too'
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.   (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Mitch McConnell is doubling down on his criticism of corporations that get political. The Senate Republican leader said Tuesday “it's quite stupid” for corporations to speak out politically, intensifying his warnings for big business to stand down. Speaking in Kentucky, McConnell said he still wants companies to give freely to political campaigns, per the AP. But as lawmakers wrestle with big issues, he warned CEOs off the kinds of public statements made by Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola, and Major League Baseball in opposition to Georgia's new restrictive voting laws. “It's quite stupid to jump in the middle of a highly controversial issue,” he told reporters. “Republicans drink Coca-Cola too, and we fly and we like baseball,” he said. “It’s irritating one hell of a lot of Republican fans."

McConnell voiced a similar sentiment on Monday, criticizing MLB for moving its All-Star game from Georgia. The colorful language from the typically reserved Republican leader shows the dilemma ahead for the party in the post-Trump era. Many Trump-styled lawmakers are bucking big business and leaning more heavily into the populist, working-class themes championed by the former president—even as they rely on deep-pocketed business donors to fuel their campaigns. By wading into the debate, McConnell is situating himself in the emerging culture wars with the progressive groups that are pressuring business not to sit silently on voting rights, gun violence, and other big issues before Congress. “They have the right to participate in the political process,” McConnell told reporters. But "if I were running a major corporation, I'd stay out of politics.”

(More Mitch McConnell stories.)

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