AKRON, Ohio — Following an attack ad released by Republican-funded organization The Lincoln Project condemning President Donald Trump’s tweet urging people not to buy tires from Goodyear—Akron’s fourth-largest employer—Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden followed suit.
On Sunday, “Biden for President” released a new ad in Ohio that makes claims that Trump is “going out of his way” to hurt thousands of jobs “in an effort to protect his.”
The Ohio ad features a statement from Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, who was outraged by the call to boycott the company and said “when you come after Goodyear, you’re coming after Akron.”
Last week in a statement, Biden addressed Trump’s tweet, saying he “doesn’t have a clue about the dignity and worth that comes with good-paying union jobs at places like Goodyear—jobs that can support a family and sustain a community.”
Trump’s tweet, made on Aug. 19, made a call, written in all caps, for consumers to stop purchasing tires from Goodyear over an image suggesting employees are not allowed to wear MAGA hats.
Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES - They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less! (This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!).— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2020
Later that day, Trump was asked about the tweet in a press briefing at the White House, where he doubled down on his attack on Goodyear.
“Well I’m not happy with Goodyear because what they’re doing is playing politics and the funny thing is, the people that work for Goodyear, I can guarantee you I poll very well with all of those great workers at Goodyear. And when they say that you can’t have Blue Lives Matter, you can’t show a blue line, you can’t wear a MAGA hat but you can have other things that are 'Marxist' in nature, there’s something wrong with the top of Goodyear,” Trump said.
When asked what kind of boycott he envisioned, Trump said it was “up to people.”
“Oh, I don’t know, that’s up to people, but I wouldn’t recommend it if they want to hold political speech, if they want to let you not do what everybody’s doing, if they want to wear a MAGA hat or if they want to wear a Blue Lives—you know what Blue Lives Matter, right? That’s policemen and women—that’s a terrible thing, that’s a terrible thing. So they’re using their power over these people and these people want to wear whatever it is that we’re talking about. You know that.
“And so I would be very much in favor of if people didn't want to buy there and you know what, they'll be able to get a good job because we set a jobs record over the last quarter, as you know. Most jobs ever in the history of our country. You’ll be able to get another good job. I think it’s disgraceful that they did this,” Trump said.
The image Trump tweeted about, which the company has since said was not part of an official training program and was created by an employee at a factory in Topeka, Kansas, showed a list of acceptable and unacceptable attire in the workplace. The “acceptable” list included clothing with Black Lives Matter and LGBT on it, while the “unacceptable” list included “Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, MAGA attire and political affiliated slogans or material.”
Goodyear CEO Rich Kramer said that the company allows employees to wear pro-police apparel while on the job, but asks that workers not wear apparel in support of a political candidate or party.
A message from Rich Kramer: By now, you are aware of a visual from our Topeka factory that has been circulating in the media. I want to personally clear the record on what you are seeing and hearing. pic.twitter.com/UqqFeFQn6t— Goodyear (@goodyear) August 20, 2020
Biden’s campaign released two ads about Goodyear Sunday, one targeting Ohioans and another focused on the company’s Fayetteville plant, targeting voters in North Carolina.