For corporations, GOP Convention is bad business

(CNN)If there is one thing we can count on Donald Trump to deliver, it is controversy. From the day his campaign began, the Republican front-runner has been blunt, outspoken and frequently offensive. Now, just as Trump is attempting to present a more presidential image, the GOP has a new Trump-related headache.

Activist groups, particularly those representing minorities and women, are pressing major corporations not to sponsor the Republican convention in July. They hope to persuade companies like Microsoft and Google to drop out of sponsoring what is sure to be a contentious event.


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These groups have the right idea by speaking out against corporate backing for Cleveland. By sponsoring the GOP convention, companies would be providing a platform for Trump’s ugly rhetoric. It is bad messaging and poor business strategy for corporations to be seen as promoting the increasingly toxic Trump brand. Over the course of his campaign thus far, Trump has insulted Latinos, immigrants, women, Muslims, Black Lives Matter protesters, disabled people, and journalists.


The most damning clue as to how chaotic the GOP convention is likely to be comes from Republican lawmakers themselves. Sens. Mark Kirk of Illinois, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Richard Burr of North Carolina, have expressed reservations about attending the Republican Convention. Arizona Sen. John McCain has said would be too busy campaigning to attend, while Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said he is unsure about going because of the cost of a hotel room. These lawmakers all seem to grasp that any association with Trump might prove irreversibly damaging.
If GOP lawmakers can foresee the public relations nightmare that the Republican convention is shaping up to be, surely corporate sponsors should hesitate before putting their names on it as well. Corporations should do the smart thing — and the right thing — by closing their checkbooks and staying away.

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