Over the weekend Apple announced it will not provide funding or resources for the 2016 Republican presidential convention, citing the party’s controversial Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, as the basis for its decision.
In a departure from fellow tech giants who are committed to sponsoring the GOP, including Facebook, Microsoft, and Google, Apple is the latest in a growing list of big-name corporations distancing themselves from Trump in light of his contentious dialogue regarding women, immigration, and minorities. Wells Fargo, Hewlett Packard, Ford Motor Company, Motorola, UPS, JPMorgan, and Walgreens have all also declined any sort sponsorship for the GOP convention, which will take place in Cleveland this July .
According to Politico, Apple’s political stand against Trump, which was communicated privately to Republican leaders, is “a sign of the widening schism between Silicon Valley and the GOP’s bombastic presumptive nominee.” Trump has been particularly critical of Apple throughout this campaign, slamming the company’s usage of Chinese manufacturing, condemning Apple CEO Tim Cook, and even calling for a boycott of the company’s products for its stance on encryption stemming from the San Bernardino shooting in December, 2015, claiming the company is a threat to national security.
Last Saturday, Trump brought up Apple once again during a campaign rally in Las Vegas, highlighting their most recent patent troubles in China. “China has turned against them,” Trump said of Apple, adding that he is “doing such a service to Apple by even mentioning it. And Tim Cook should send us a lot of money for what I’m doing.”
Apple’s decline to support this year’s GOP convention is a sharp contrast from previous elections, during which the tech giant has consistently donated to both major political parties. In 2008, the company donated $140,000 in MacBook laptops and other tech tools to both parties’ national conventions. It remains unclear whether or not Apple will provide support and resources for the Democratic Party’s 2016 convention in Philadelphia, later this summer.
Traditionally, major players in the tech industry attempt to support both the Democratic and Republican parties equally. However, Trump’s controversial rhetoric has upended that trend for this year’s impending election. Throughout the presidential primaries, Trump has proposed a ban on Muslims, referred to Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and “murderers,” called women “fat” and “shrill,” and stood silent as his supporters engage in anti-Semitic, homophobic, misogynistic, and racially charged taunts and riots.
The Republican GOP convention kicks off on in Cleveland, Ohio on July 18, 2016, followed by the Democratic National Convention which begins on July 28, 2016, in Philadelphia.