Ted Cruz puts ‘woke’ CEOs looking for tax breaks on notice, urges GOP to reject their corporate donations

Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz is swearing off corporate cash and donors and is urging other Republicans to do the same in the wake of a shift in CEO support for left-wing causes championed by Democrats.

Describing corporations as “woke” and CEOs as “fair-weather friends,” the Texas lawmaker is stepping up attacks on business entities once seen as solidly supportive of Republicans.

His call comes amid attacks from boardrooms including Coca-Cola and professional sports leagues like Major League Baseball against Georgia’s recently-passed voter integrity law as the impetus, Cruz said he won’t take campaign money from corporations and corporate political action committees who do not openly support and advocate for Republican issues, calling on other GOP members to join him.

In addition, Cruz appeared to put those companies who have, in the past, taken Republican Party support for granted, on notice.

“This is the point in the drama when Republicans usually shrug their shoulders, call these companies ‘job creators,’ and start to cut their taxes. Not this time,” he wrote in a column published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal.

“This time, we won’t look the other way on Coca-Cola’s $12 billion in back taxes owed. This time, when Major League Baseball lobbies to preserve its multibillion-dollar antitrust exception, we’ll say no thank you. This time, when Boeing asks for billions in corporate welfare, we’ll simply let the Export-Import Bank expire,” he added.

“For too long, woke CEOs have been fair-weather friends to the Republican Party: They like us until the left’s digital pitchforks come out,” the Texas Republican continued.

“Then they run away. Or they mouth off on legislation they don’t understand — and hurt the reputations of patriotic leaders protecting our elections and expanding the right to vote,” Cruz wrote.

“Enough is enough. Corporations that flagrantly misrepresent efforts to protect our elections need to be called out, singled out and cut off,” he said.

The pledge to refuse corporate donations is a big deal for Cruz; the Texas Republican said he has received $2.6 million in donations from corporate interests and PACs.

“Starting today, I no longer accept money from any corporate PAC. I urge my GOP colleagues at all levels to do the same,” he said.

Continuing, he said that GOP lawmakers have allowed the Democratic left “and their big-business allies” attack GOP principles “with no response.” In addition, Cruz wrote that the GOP has allowed corporations to “smear Republicans without paying a price” as they shipped jobs offshore, assailed Americans’ gun rights, and worked to “destroy our energy companies.”

“As America’s greatest basketball player observed years ago, Republicans buy sneakers, too,” he said, referencing Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan, who said he made the comment “in jest” and “off the cuff” during the 1990 U.S. Senate race in North Carolina between Democratic challenger Harvey Gantt and incumbent GOP Sen. Jesse Helms.

“We cast votes, too. And we pay attention when CEOs come after our own just so they can look good for a few editorial pages and radical activists,” Cruz wrote.

“To them I say: When the time comes that you need help with a tax break or a regulatory change, I hope the Democrats take your calls, because we may not. Starting today, we won’t take your money either,” he concluded.

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Jon Dougherty

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