Home Depot founder calls for end of ‘unproductive and embarrassing’ RNC debates

He says the GOP debates "only benefit ad makers and political consultants" and "are unproductive and embarrassing."

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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Home Depot co-founder and former CEO Bernie Marcus has called for an end to the Republican National Committee debates for the 2024 primary, urging fellow party members to rally around Trump. 

"I urge my fellow Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to put their love for America above all else. I urge the Republican National Committee to end the Republican debates that only benefit ad makers and political consultants. They are unproductive and embarrassing," Marcus wrote in an op-ed published by RealClearPolitics in early November.

Marcus wrote that he had hoped "it was time for me to move to the sidelines and let younger generations continue the fight to preserve America’s founding freedoms and values. But, like so many of us, I realized that I could not let myself walk away; the stakes are just too high."

"We cannot let the America we see today be what we leave to our children and grandchildren," he added, noting issues of inflation, illegal immigration, and rising crime in cities across the nation.

"I understand the frustration of some of my Republican friends who do not like or are offended by things Donald Trump does and says. I, too, have been frustrated at times, but we cannot let his brash style be the reason we walk away from his otherwise excellent stewardship of the United States during his first term in office. Now is the time for unity to save The American Dream for future generations," Marcus wrote.

Marcus endorsed Trump for president, saying "I endorse him not only because he has the best chance of winning the general election but because he is the best person to take on and dismantle the administrative state that is strangling America."

Marcus wrote that the war that has broken out between Israel and the Palestinian terror group Hamas "will present great challenges for the free world for some time, especially in keeping other terrorist groups or nations out of the conflict."

"This will require a president with the judgment, strength, decisiveness, and courage that Donald Trump displayed in his first term when he ordered the strike that killed the Iranian terrorist Gen. Qasem Soleimani and dissuaded Russia from invading Ukraine." Marcus said that he, along with others, believes that Hamas would not have launched their October 7 attack against Israel if Trump were in office.

"The reason is America’s enemies respect and, more importantly, fear Donald Trump’s judgment, strength, decisiveness, and courage."

"This should not be a partisan issue. This should be an issue for all Americans – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – that I hope to reach with this op-ed. You enjoy the freedoms and values on which the nation was founded. Sadly, I see these freedoms and values being eroded today as government gets bigger and weaponized against its political opponents."

Trump and fellow GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy have also both taken aim at the RNC debates, with Trump writing on Truth Social, "RNC must save money on lowest ever ratings debates. Use it against the Democrats to STOP THE STEAL! If not, REVAMP THE RNC, NOW."

In the third GOP debate, which took place in early November, Ramaswamy said, "We've become a party of losers. At the end of the day there is a cancer of the Republican establishment. Let's speak the truth. I mean, since Ronna McDaniel took over as chairwoman of the RNC in 2017, we have lost 2018, 2020, 2022. No red wave— that never came. We got trounced last night in 2023. And I think that we have to have accountability in our party."

"For that matter, Ronna," he said, speaking directly to her in the audience, "if you want to come on stage tonight, you want to look the GOP voters in the eye and tell them you resign, I will yield my time to you. And frankly, look, the people— they're cheering for losing in the Republican Party."

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