Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren is sticking by billionaire Donald Trump and his apparel line despite an online petition to “dump Trump.”
The petition was started by Angelo Carusone of SignOn.org, a liberal website “Powered by MoveOn.org.” Carusone is trying to gather 650,000 signatures to persuade Macy’s to drop Trump’s merchandise and ads after the businessman’s repeated criticisms of President Barack Obama, culminating in an online tirade that called for a “revolution” after Obama was re-elected Nov. 6. So far, Carusone said, the petition drive has gathered more than 500,000 signatures.
Lundgren, however, told Carusone in a recent letter that while he appreciated the “clear and reasonable way” he’s expressed himself, Macy’s isn’t dumping Trump. Lundgren wrote, in part:
Please understand and appreciate that Macy’s marketing and merchandising offerings are not representative of any political position. Ours is a free society compromised of a wide range of viewpoints. Many of the individuals associated with products sold at Macy’s – or at any retailer, for that matter – express personal opinions that are not related to the merchandise we sell or to the philosophies of our company. That is the nature of a free society.
The CEO later thanked Carusone for “understanding our point of view.”
Trump’s criticism of Obama is no secret, from the president’s handling of the economy to the billionaire’s insistence that Obama produce his birth certificate – and college transcripts – to prove he’s a U.S. citizen. Trump has even offered to donate $5 million to a charity of Obama’s choosing if he reveals the documents, an offer that was ignored. Obama explained Trump to “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno by saying, “This all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya.”
After the election, Trump tweeted: “This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!”
In a statement to Bloomberg, Trump spokesman Michael Cohen said he “questioned the legitimacy and accuracy” of Carusone’s website “and the number of signatures claimed to have joined this petition.”
Carusone’s petition states: “Macy’s: Donald Trump does not reflect the “magic of Macy’s.” We urge you to sever ties with him. Macy’s says it has a strong obligation to be “socially responsible” and that “actions speak louder than words.” Indeed. It’s time to act.”
The fine print on the petition also states petitioners “agree to receive email messages from SignOn.org, MoveOn.org Civic Action and MoveOn.org Political Action.”