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.
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: