After warning, McConnell softens posture on corporations taking political stances

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell                                                  J. Scott Applewhite / AP file

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., softened his stance on corporations getting involved in politics on Wednesday, a day after he warned companies not to weigh in on hot button issues.

“I didn’t say that very artfully yesterday, they’re certainly entitled to be involved in politics, they are,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “My principal complaint is they didn’t read the darn bill.”

A day earlier, McConnell had said it is “stupid” for corporations to take positions on divisive political issues but noted that his criticism did not extend to their donations.

McConnell, long a champion of big money in politics, however, noted on Tuesday that corporations “have a right to participate in a political process” but should do so without alienating “an awful lot of people.”

“I’m not talking about political contributions,” he said. “I’m talking about taking a position on a highly incendiary issue like this and punishing a community or a state because you don’t like a particular law that passed, I just think it’s stupid.”

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