As Republican leadership turns against Donald Trump following his graphic comments about women, some 100 business executives and former CEOs are doubling down by focusing on his economic plan.
In an open letter released by the Trump Organization, business leaders including PayPal and Palantir founder, Peter Thiel, former CEO of Dollar General and Reebok, David Perdue, co-managing partner of SkyBridge Capital, Anthony Scaramucci, and hedge funder Carl Icahn, focused on Trump’s plan to impose higher tariffs on Mexico and China, and to lift restrictions on oil and gas.
“The Trump economic plan is comprehensive and far-reaching,” the executives wrote in a letter that made no mention of the candidate’s comments. “It cuts taxes, stops trade cheating, reduces regulations, unleashes America’s powerful energy sector and eliminates our growth-draining trade deficit.
“In what would be effectively a “third Obama term,” she will raise taxes, continue to increase the already oppressive regulatory burden on both consumers and businesses, stifle efforts to make our nation energy independent and negotiate more bad trade deals that ship our jobs and factories offshore,” the business leaders wrote.
Notably, one of Trump’s biggest donors, Renaissance Technologies co-founder Robert Mercer, did not sign the letter. A few other prominent billionaire Trump supporters are also missing, including Colony Capital’s Tom Barrack,Cerebus Capital Management’s Stephen Feinberg, and BP Capital’s T. Boone Pickens.
More recently, Thiel, reportedly donated $1.25 million to Trump’s struggling campaign.
The letter comes after at least five women have come forward accusing Trump of kissing, or touching them sexually without consent. Those accusations were made after the Washington Post released a video in which Trump bragged about groping women.
Trump apologized for the video, calling it “locker-room talk,” and has denied the accusations of sexual assault.
Here is the letter in its entirety below:
OPEN LETTER FROM BUSINESS LEADERS SUPPORTING DONALD TRUMP
In this political season, our nation faces an economic choice between whether to fall back on the past or move forward toward our future. Our prosperity – and our children’s futures – are at stake.
The big economic question on the minds of most Americans is whether our days of strong economic growth are over. Donald Trump says, “of course not.”
The Trump economic plan is comprehensive and far-reaching. It cuts taxes, stops trade cheating, reduces regulations, unleashes America’s powerful energy sector and eliminates our growth-draining trade deficit.
This potent combination of tax, trade, energy and regulatory reforms will accelerate our GDP growth rate, create millions of jobs, and trillions of dollars in new additional income and tax revenues.
Hillary Clinton has thrown in the towel on the idea of strong economic growth. In what would be effectively a “third Obama term,” she will raise taxes, continue to increase the already oppressive regulatory burden on both consumers and businesses, stifle efforts to make our nation energy independent and negotiate more bad trade deals that ship our jobs and factories offshore.
What Obama and Clinton see as a path to economic growth is simply a dead end. We have had the weakest economic recovery since World War II and the GDP growth rate is well below our historic norm. Clinton’s policies promise to accelerate this decline.
Business leaders are particularly worried about America’s anemic growth prospects, making them cautious about investing and hiring. The erratic policies of the past eight years have created troubling uncertainty. Will threatened tax hikes happen? How onerous will the many new regulations be? What’s next in the messy complexity of Obamacare, which is unraveling for millions of Americans before our eyes? It clearly is, as even Bill Clinton has put it, “the craziest thing.”
Donald Trump is a businessman. He knows if we want to have more economic growth, real wage growth, and higher living standards, we need to focus on basic building blocks, not more Keynesian stimulus and financial engineering. Basic building blocks mean making America the best place to invest, helping American workers become more productive, and restoring America to its rightful place as the land of opportunity.
As business leaders and entrepreneurs, we believe our nation needs a President who understands free markets because he’s lived and worked in them. We need a President who understands how government can hobble innovation, destroy opportunity and restrain growth. We need a President who knows how economic freedom can lift people out of poverty, open paths to and grow the middle class while offering everyone the opportunity to earn their success. Donald Trump would be that President.
Irma Aguirre, Owner of the El Sombrero Mexican Bistro.
Ed Atsinger, CEO of Salem Media Group, Inc.
Roy Bailey, Chief Executive Office of Giuliani Deason Capital Interests.
David Barker, President of Barker Financial.
Andrew Beal, Founder of the Beal Bank.
Asa Beck, President of Cogent Strategies.
Bill Boddie, CEO of Boddie-Noell Enterprises, Inc.
Victoria Braden, CEO and President of Braden Benefit Strategies, Inc.
Dennis Bradford, Principal of Genesis Group, past Chairman and CEO of Coachman Inc.
Ed Broyhill, President of Broyhill Family Group.
Lee Buddrus, President and CEO of Acme Engineering & Manufacturing Corporation.
Steve Calk, Chairman and CEO of National Bancorp Holdings/The Federal Savings Bank.
Kathy Carr, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Howie Carr Show.
Michael Clements, President of Clements Fluids Management.
Reed S. Cordish, President of Entertainment Consulting International.
Joe Craft, CEO of Alliance Resource Partners.
Bradley T. Crate, Founder and President of Red Curve Solutions, LLC.
Edward F. Crawford, Chairman and CEO of ParkOhio Holding Corp.
Tom Davis, Owner and President of I Squared Element Company.
Louis DeJoy, former Chairman and CEO of New Breed Logistics.
Dan DiMicco, former Chairman and CEO of Nucor Corp.
Roddey Dowd, CEO of Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Co.
Carole L. Downs, Chairman and Co-Founder of M2M Spectrum Networks LLC.
Lew Eisenberg, former General Partner of Goldman Sachs; former Senior Advisor of KKR.
Burl Finkelstein Esq., CEO of Kason Industries.
William P. Foley, Chairman of Fidelity National Financial Inc.
Lynn Ford, Co-Owner of the Ford Restaurant Group.
Creed Ford III, Co-Owner of the Ford Restaurant Group.
Greg Freda, Partner of Mergence Global LLC.
Robert Freres Jr., Executive Vice President of Freres Lumber Co. Inc.
Jim Freund, President and CEO of Freund Baking Co.
Christopher J. Fussner, President of TransTechnology Pte Ltd.
John Gilbert, President of VanLaw Food Products Inc.
Charles L. Glazer, Founder of C.L. Glazer and Company.
Bill Hagerty, Founder and Managing Director of Hagerty Peterson & Company, LLC.
Harold Hamm, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Continental Resources.
John C. Harris, Owner and CEO of Harris Ranch.
David Harvey, Founder of The Athlete’s Foot; New Hampshire Real Estate Investor.
Noel Irwin Hentschel, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of American Tours International.
Bill Hickey, Chairman of Lapham-Hickey.
Donald Hoffman, CEO of Excel Services.
Carl Icahn, Founder of Icahn Enterprises.
Jeffrey R. Jay, Managing Director of Great Point Partners, LLC.
Woody Johnson, Owner of the New York Jets.
Bill Jones, President of Penn United Technologies
Wilma H. Jordan, CEO of JEGI.
James Kassouf, CEO of Lakeside Bluffs Group, LLC.
Larry Kudlow, Principal of Kudlow and Company.
Richard LeFrak, Chairman and CEO of LeFrak.
Howard Lorber, President and CEO of Vector Group Ltd.
Tony Maas, President/CEO of JTM Food Group.
David MacNeil, Founder/CEO of WeatherTech.
Papa Doug Manchester, Chairman of Manchester Financial Group.
Thomas Maoli, Owner and Dealer Principal of Celebrity Motor Cars, LLC.
Bernie Marcus, Co-Founder and former CEO of Home Depot.
Jamie McCourt, Founder and CEO of Jamie Enterprises, former Co-Owner, President, CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
David McIntyre, President & CEO of Toro-Aire Inc.
John McNabb, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Willbros Group.
Steven Mnuchin, Chairman and CEO of Dune Capital Management LP.
Glenn Mosack, CEO of Conbraco/Elkhart Products/Lasco Fittings.
Kevin Nagle, Chairman of The Nagle Companies and Co-founder/former CEO and Vice Chairman of Envision Pharmaceutical.
Terry Neese, Entrepreneur, Public Policy Strategist, Women’s Equality Advocate and Award-Winning Small Business Owner.
Ron Nicol, Senior Partner and Managing Director of The Boston Consulting Group.
(Fortune’s note: Nicol no longer works with The Boston Consulting Group as a senior partner and managing director, but as a senior advisor.)
Brian O’Shaughnessy, Chairman of Revere Copper Products.
Tonn M. Ostergard, CEO of Crete Carrier Corporation.
Robin Dozier Otten, President and CEO of RDO Strategic Consultants.
John Paulson, President and Portfolio Manager of Paulson & Co. Inc.
David Perdue, former Fortune 500 CEO of Dollar General and Reebok Athletic Brand. Current U.S. Senator from Georgia.
Jeff Pfeifer, CEO of MLP Steel.
Donna Porter, CEO of Premier Framing Inc., and Dream Home Consultants, Inc.
Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.
Dave Rettig, President and CEO of Rembrandt Enterprises.
John Richardson, Chairman and CEO of Sugar Creek. Todd Ricketts, Co-Owner of the Chicago Cubs.
Ron Rittenmeyer, former Chairman and CEO of Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS).
Ken Rohl, Chairman/Founder of ROHL LLC.
Wilbur Ross, International Private Equity Investor.
Joseph V. Salvucci, Chairman of PEAK Technical Staffing USA.
Tracie Sanchez, President of Lima Pallet Company Inc. and Board Member of the NFIB-Ohio.
Carla Sands, Chairman of Vintage Capital Group.
Anthony Scaramucci, Co-Managing Partner of SkyBridge Capital.
Gary L. Schottenstein, Chairman/CEO of Schottenstein Real Estate Group.
Alan Shaffer, former Chairman, President & CEO of Dayton Progress Corporation.
Judy Shelton, Senior Fellow, Atlas Network; Co-Director, Sound Money Project.
Charles Shor, retired CEO and Majority Shareholder of Duro Bag. Ed Sikora, Owner of Jatco Machine & Tool Co.
Rex Sinquefield, Co-founder of Dimensional Fund Advisors.
Robert Smittcamp, Chairman/CEO of Lyons Magnus.
Louis Sola, CEO of Evermarine, LLC.
John Soules Jr., Co-CEO of John Soules Foods.
Roger Sustar, CEO of Fredon Corp.
Charles M. Talanian, CEO and Owner of C. Talanian Realty Co. Inc.
Peter Thiel, Chairman of Palantir Technologies and Co-Founder of PayPal.
Robert I. Toussie, Chairman, President and CEO of The Toussie Group.
Liz Uihlein, President of Uline Shipping Supply Specialists.
Jeff Waddell, President of Martin, Goodrich & Waddell, Inc.
Bill Walton, former CEO of Allied Capital.
Ray Washburne, Chairman and CEO of Charter Holdings, Inc.
Mike Whalen, Founder and President of Heart of America Group.
Mark Widder, Partner/Owner of Veg-Fresh Farms.
Karen Buchwald Wright, Chairman, President and CEO of Ariel Corporation.
Lucinda Shen via Fortune Magazine | Photo: assets.bwbx.10
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