Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump plays with his hair during his rally at the Charleston Civic Center on May 5, 2016 in Charleston, West Virginia.
Photograph by Mark Lyons — Getty Images
By Ben Geier
June 17, 2016

With Donald Trump now the presumptive Republican nominee for President, more and more denizens of corporate America are pulling back from supporting the Republican National Convention, scheduled to begin on July 18 in Cleveland.

Wells Fargo (wfc), UPS (ups), Motorola Solutions (msi), JPMorgan Chase (jpm) and Ford Motor (f)have all decided in recent days not to sponsor the convention, reports Bloomberg News. All of them did support the 2012 convention, where Mitt Romney was nominated to take on Barack Obama.

Though companies generally tend to stay out of partisan politics — Republican and Democrats both spend money, after all — Bloomberg notes that sponsoring conventions is often seen as easy way to get a firm’s name out, given that conventions are among the most watched political events of the year.

 

But with Trump’s negative’s soaring, companies are weary of associating themselves with the campaign. Trump’s incendiary comments about Mexicans, women and Muslims in particular have made it difficult for corporations to justify sponsoring an event designed to promote his election as president.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks deferred questions on this matter to the host committee. That committee is focusing on the fact that it is only $6.5 million away from reaching its $64 million goal and on the more than 100 companies that are sponsoring the convention, said spokeswoman Emily Lauer.

“The skies not falling. It is not doom and gloom,” she said.

“It’s a question of balancing the desire to be present at this convention versus brand association with one figure who is so polarizing,” said Bruce Haynes, a Republican media consultant, to Bloomberg. “That’s why the decision is so difficult, when otherwise it’s so easy.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story listed Walgreens among the companies pulling support from the Republican National Convention. Walgreens remains a partner of both the Republican and Democratic conventions.

 

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