Republicans supporting Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the election are on a collision course with US business leaders, as companies reconsider support and funding for politicians they deem to be a threat to national stability.
The decision by 13 Republican senators to join most House Republicans in refusing to certify Joe Biden’s victory on Wednesday was quickly denounced by business groups, whose leaders voiced alarm at the threat it posed to a democracy that most had taken for granted.
Their action “undermines our democracy and the rule of law”, warned the US Chamber of Commerce, as a small business coalition blasted the “shameful complicity” of elected officials trying to help Mr Trump “undermine the will of the voters”.
Attempts to thwart the orderly transfer of power to Mr Biden ran “counter to the essential tenets of our democracy”, added more than 180 New York executives including Accenture’s Julie Sweet, BlackRock’s Larry Fink and KKR’s Henry Kravis.
Pointedly, several of the statements argued that indulging baseless conspiracy theories — including that Mr Biden only won thanks to mass voter fraud — was bad for business at a time when executives want Washington to tackle the economic fallout from Covid-19.
Sowing further distrust in the political system “threatens the economic recovery . . . our country desperately needs”, said the Business Roundtable, which is led by Doug McMillon, Walmart chief executive.
Richard Edelman, head of the eponymous public relations group, said: “CEOs are scared. They don’t like the idea America is a banana republic.”