President Donald Trump said he would take Goodyear tires off the presidential limousine after he encouraged Americans to boycott the company after it banned political gear, including his red MAGA hats.
‘I would swamp ’em out,’ the president said at his press conference on Wednesday.
The Beast, as the presidential limo is known, and other cars in the president’s motorcade all use Goodyear tires.
Trump complained Goodyear – founded in 1898 in Akron, Ohio – was banning the distinctive red ‘Make America Great Again’ caps that his supporters wear.
He accused the company of ‘playing politics’ and argued he polls very well with Goodyear workers although it is unclear how he would know such a thing.
And he criticized the company, which said material supporting Black Lives Matters is acceptable but banned political items, specifically naming Blue Lives Matter and the MAGA hats.
‘They say that you can’t have Blue Lives Matter,’ he said. ‘You can’t wear a MAGA hat.’
‘They’re using their power over these people and these people want to wear whatever it is that we’re talking about,’ he said. ‘ So I would be very much in favor of people don’t want to buy there.’
‘I think it’s disgraceful that they did this,’ he noted.
Earlier in the day, the president called for the company – which employees 66,000 people and has plants in several states critical in the November election – to be boycotted.
‘Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES,’ Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning . ‘They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less! (This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!).’
President Donald Trump said he would take Goodyear tires off the presidential limousine after he encouraged Americans to boycott the company after it banned political gear, including his red MAGA hats
President Trump in the Beast, as the presidential limo is known, at Daytona in February, the car uses Goodyear tires
Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies and the largest provider of tires to new vehicles in the United States
Goodyear had announced that politically-affiliated material should not be worn by employees and asked for politics to be kept out of the workplace.
But an employee posted a slide – that the person said was from a company training session – where examples were given of what was acceptable and not acceptable.
The slide listed as acceptable: Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride (LGBT).
Under unacceptable it listed: Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, MAGA Attire, Political Affiliated Slogans or Material.
WIBW reported that a worker at the Topeka plant captured the picture and provided it to the news station.
The image was picked up by other news outlets and went viral.
Goodyear acknowledged the image posted online ‘sparked a strong reaction.’
‘Yesterday Goodyear became the focus of a conversation that created some misconceptions about our policies and our company. For those not aware, a widely circulated image sparked a strong reaction, and we wanted to take the opportunity to provide some important context to the visual and our policies,’ the company said in a statement posted to its Twitter account after the president’s tweet.
‘The visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class,’ the company noted.
The statement noted officials tried to foster ‘an inclusive, respectful workplace’ which is ‘another reason we ask associates not to engage in political campaigning of any kind in the workplace – for any candidate, party or political organization.’
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany slammed the company for targeting what she called a ‘certain ideology’ – reference to Trump supporters.
‘‘What was clearly targeted was a certain ideology. They have not denied that image was presented at one of their facilities,’ she said Wednesday at her briefing of the slide that went viral.
She charged the company with supporting Black Lives Matter but not supporting the police because the policy said Blue Lives Matter was unacceptable. She argued the president’s call for a boycott on the MAGA issue was his way of showing support for police.
‘The reason he called for the boycott was MAGA. That’s pretty unanimous with Blue Lives Matter these days,’ McEnany said.
Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies and the largest provider of tires to new vehicles in the United States.
The company’s stock dropped about 6 per cent on the S&P after the president’s attack but rallied to settle about a 2.5 point loss.
Goodyear has plants in Ohio, Kansas, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, and Oklahoma.
Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas and Georgia are all in play in this year’s presidential election.
And it was Midwest, blue-collar voters that put Trump into the White House in the 2016 election.
President Trump tosses red hats to his supporters during a stop in Bedminister, New Jersey, at the end of July
The presidential limousine – known as ‘The Beast’ – uses Goodyear tires
President Trump and his staff often throw red hats to the crowd at his campaign rallies
President Trump, his tie undone, carries one of his red hats after coming off Marine One after his June Tulsa rally
Trump supporters wear the distinctive, red MAGA gear at the president’s event Tuesday in Yuma, Arizona
Goodyear told Kansas TV station WIBW, which first reported on the new policy, that it asked employees to refrain from expressing support for ‘any candidate or political party.’
‘We do allow our associates to express their support on racial injustice and other equity issues but ask that they refrain from workplace expressions, verbal or otherwise, in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party as well as other similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of equity issues,’ said spokesperson Melissa Monaco.
Trump supporters wear the distinctive red hats with their ‘MAGA’ slogan at the president’s campaign rallies and other events.
The president has even worn and carried the signature hat, which became a popular item on the 2016 campaign trail. Supporters often ask him to sign their hats.
Last month, when he was at his Bedminister golf club, Trump stopped the presidential motorcade to get out and throw some red MAGA hats to his supporters standing along side the road.
At his rallies, he, his family and campaign staff routinely throw the red MAGA hats out to the crowd.
And Trump usually concludes his campaign speech with his now signature slogan: ‘Make America strong again, make America proud again, make America great again.’