McConnell backs off and warns that businesses should steer clear of politics

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WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell withdrew his warning Wednesday that businesses should stay away from politics, but reiterated frustration with criticism from some prominent businesses of Republican-led efforts to pass new electoral laws. McConnell had issued a statement Monday threatening “dire consequences” for corporations retaliating against Republican bills in Georgia and elsewhere, saying companies capitulated to pressure from Democratic activists. The Kentucky Republican did not name any companies or specify what consequences they could face.

The next day, at a press conference in his home state, he added: “My warning, if you will, to American businesses is to stay out of politics. It‘s not what you’re designed to do. “He said he wasn’t referring to political contributions, which he called appropriate.” I’m talking about taking a position on an issue as incendiary as this. “On Wednesday, in another public appearance in Kentucky, McConnell acknowledged: “I didn’t say that very cleverly yesterday.” Businesses have a right to participate in politics, he said. “My main complaint is that they didn’t read the damn bill. … There are a lot of states right now after the new one. Georgia law, which are much more restrictive than the new Georgia law. ”An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com Also popular on WSJ.com: Meet the S&P 500’s Highest Paid CEO, the $ 211 Man Millions from Paycom China’s Greenlandic ambitions collide with local politics and US influence.