Camping World CEO Doesn’t Want Business from Trump Supporters-Truth! & Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis said that he doesn’t want business from Trump supporters and that they should shop somewhere else.

The Truth:

During an August 16, 2017, interview on CNBC’s “Power Lunch,” Marcus Lemonis said those who support what was said in the wake of white nationalist protests in Charlottesville shouldn’t shop at his store.

But the Camping World CEO didn’t say that all of President Donald Trump’s supporters should shop elsewhere — and Lemonis also voiced support for Trump’s economic priorities like tax reform and bank deregulation during the interview. Days later, Lemonis said his comments had been misrepresented.

The day before the interview, on August 15, 2017, Trump fielded questions about CEOs resigning from his manufacturing council after he initially declined to specifically condemn white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville — instead condemning violence “on many sides.” During the August 15th press conference, Trump double-downed on his original statement that many sides were responsible, according to a transcript:

What about the alt-left that came charging at — Excuse me — What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? [cross talk] Let me ask you this: What about the fact that they came charging, that they came charging with clubs in their hands swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. So, you know, as far as I’m concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day.

…I will tell you something. I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it. And you had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that. But I’ll say it right now.

During the “Power Lunch” interview, Marcus Lemonis said he was “horrified” by what he heard from the administration. Lemonis also said there was fear among CEOs that speaking out could lead to economic fallout, and that CEOs must balance their personal opinions with their business interests:

Now I, of course, along with the other CEOs, am horrified by what we’re hearing and seeing from this administration. But, as the CEO of Camping World, or the CEO of any company, it’s important to recognize that we speak for ourselves as individuals on public policy. We speak for our companies as it relates to policy that affects our business. Obviously, with this one, it does, but we just need to be very careful. I’m concerned about certain CEOs dancing on the fence fearing retaliation, or fearing something, and it’s very scary right now.

Then, Lemonis was asked if he would fear being associated with the Trump administration as a CEO, to which Lemonis responded:

There’s no doubt that there’s not many consumers in this country who are in favor of what’s been said in the last couple days, and if they are, quite frankly, don’t shop at my business. And I think the reality is that there is fear (among CEOs about retaliation) …
The statement didn’t generate much attention at the time, but it resurfaced on August 21, 2017, when former NASCAR driver Mark Martin tweeted that he had canceled a Camping World order for a $150,000 camper. Camping World is the entitlement sponsor for NASCAR’s truck series.
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Former NASCAR driver Mark Martin deleted this tweet after speaking with the Camping World CEO, and Martin said his comments had been misrepresented.
Martin later deleted the tweet. Martin said he regretted sending it, and that he believed Lemonis’ comments had been misrepresented by various news outlets after speaking to the Camping World CEO.
For his part, Lemonis released a video on August 21, 2017, to clarify his position. Lemonis said he’s not personally OK with what was said and done in Charlottesville, and his comments were taken out of context:
What I said is that if you are OK with what happened in Charlottesville — what was said, what was done — I’m not OK with it. I’m fairly certain that in that same conversation I said I know there are millions and millions of people in this country that aren’t OK with it, either. It doesn’t matter who you voted for or who I voted for. At the end of the day, we have to respect each regardless of what our views are and have (a) dialogue. This is a free country, and people have the right to free speech. That includes, unfortunately, hate speech. But that doesn’t make it OK. From my position, loud and clear, what I said is that if you are OK with what happened in Charlottesville, and what was done, then I’m not OK with it.
In the end, we’re calling claims that the Camping World CEO said Trump supporters should shop elsewhere both truth and fiction. Marcus Lemonis said that those who supported Trump’s comments in the wake of the Charlottesville protests should shop elsewhere, but he later said he was only trying to say that he was not OK with what happened there.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 08/23/2017
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Former NASCAR driver Mark Martin deleted this tweet after speaking with the Camping World CEO, and Martin said his comments had been misrepresented.