Earlier this week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) really let those woke corporations have it for meddling in the Georgia election reform law, which they then spread misinformation about. Just a few days later, though, he's walked back those comments. "I didn’t say that very artfully," he told reporters earlier today.
As Reagan reported, the minority leader released a statement on Monday declaring "McConnell: Corporations Shouldn’t Fall for Absurd Disinformation on Voting Laws." It was appropriately peppered with similarly strong language, beginning with "We are witnessing a coordinated campaign by powerful and wealthy people to mislead and bully the American people."
Leader McConnell warned that "a host of powerful people and institutions apparently think they stand to benefit from parroting this big lie," referring to President Joe Biden's claims that the new Georgia law is "Jim Crow on steroids."
He called Democrats out for "absurd tactics," warned that the "disinformation" on their end serves of "a purpose" of how "they want to silence debate by bullying citizens and entire states into submission."
Perhaps the strongest sentiments came from the end of the statement:
“It’s jaw-dropping to see powerful American institutions not just permit themselves to be bullied, but join in the bullying themselves. Wealthy corporations have no problem operating in New York, for example, which has fewer days of early voting than Georgia, requires excuses for absentee ballots, and restricts electioneering via refreshments. There is no consistent or factual standard being applied here. It’s just a fake narrative gaining speed by its own momentum.
“Our private sector must stop taking cues from the Outrage-Industrial Complex. Americans do not need or want big business to amplify disinformation or react to every manufactured controversy with frantic left-wing signaling.
“From election law to environmentalism to radical social agendas to the Second Amendment, parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government. Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order. Businesses must not use economic blackmail to spread disinformation and push bad ideas that citizens reject at the ballot box.”
He also made similar comments during a Monday press conference, and then doubled down further during a press conference on Tuesday. As Lisa Mascaro with AP reported:
“It's quite stupid to jump in the middle of a highly controversial issue,” he told reporters.
“Republicans drink Coca-Cola too, and we fly and we like baseball,” he said. “It’s irritating one hell of a lot of Republican fans."
Eliza Relman with Business Insider also reported on McConnell's remarks from Tuesday, as well as his walking them back. "I'm not talking about political contributions," he told reporters on Tuesday. "I'm talking about taking a position on a highly incendiary issue like this and punishing a community or a state because you don't like a particular law they passed. I just think it's stupid." Of his turn around she reported that:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday retracted his demand that corporations "stay out of politics," with the exception of political donations, as major companies protest Georgia's recently-passed voting rights restrictions.
"I didn't say that very artfully yesterday," the Kentucky Republican told reporters of his comments earlier this week. "They're certainly entitled to be involved in politics."
"My complaint about the CEOs is they ought to read the damn bill," he added.
The last part is especially pertinent, as a lot of the criticism of the law is a matter of misinformation and ignorance, which cost Atlanta the opportunity to host the MLB All-Star game. Leader McConnell could have doubled down on that though, without making such a concession of sorts, because not surprisingly, that is what's earning the headlines.