Apple won't lend a hand at the Republican National Convention, July 18-21 in Cleveland, because of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump — or, rather, his seemingly never-ending stream of controversial comments, Politico reported Saturday, citing two sources. But the tech giant is far from the first company to indicate it won't supply sponsorship or funding for the event.
While other major tech players — Facebook, Google, Microsoft — have indicated they would provide some sort of support, Apple reportedly told GOP leaders it would not repeat in 2016 the funding or support as has supplied in some past years. The reasons were apparently Trump's comments on women, immigrants and minorities.
Trump has also criticized the company in the past. For example, he called for a boycott of Apple products after the company denied an FBI request to unlock an iPhone used by a suspect in last year's San Bernardino, California, massacre, and said he would convince Apple to "build their damn computers and things in this country," rather than overseas.
Apple had previously played a small role at political conventions, providing some $140,000 in devices for the 2008 events, while it sat out the 2012 conventions because the Democrats were not accepting corporate donations.
A spokeswoman for the GOP's convention host committee commented on Apple's abscence to Politico, saying, "we are working with a variety of major tech partners who are focused on being part of the American political process."
Apple is far from the lone corporate giant to pull out of the event. Bloomberg reported that a number of companies have indicated plans to sit out both conventions, including Wells Fargo, UPS, Motorola, JPMorgan Chase, Ford and Walgreens. Those companies all sponsored the 2012 Republican convention.
None directly tied the decision to Trump and many said they would not support the Democratic event either. A source from Wells Fargo, however, indicated to Bloomberg it would support the Democratic convention because it will be held July 25-28 in Philadelphia, an important market for the company, where the convention venue is a sports arena called the Wells Fargo Center.
Typically, the conventions represent a handy time for corporations to rub elbows with important lawmakers, but it's a bit more risky with a candidate like Trump, who has proven he is willing to insult large swaths of the population.
Meanwhile, yet another attempt to stop Trump at the convention is under way, the Washington Post reported. Anti-Trump delegates apparently believe they might be able to muster enough support to change party rules and take the nomination away from the blustery billionaire.