Current and former business leaders endorse Clinton, call Trump unqualified
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A group of current and former American business leaders released a collective endorsement of Hillary Clinton on Thursday, as the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate seeks to undermine the appeal that opponent Donald Trump's business background holds for some voters.
The list includes some longtime Clinton supporters, such as investor Warren Buffett and cloud computing company Salesforce founder Marc Benioff. Others include Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb; Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura M. Ricketts; Reed Hastings, founder and CEO of Netflix; Delta Airlines executive chairman Richard Anderson, and former General Motors chairman Dan Akerson.
''Donald Trump has failed to put forth concrete and realistic policies to help the American people and grow the economy. Our president must care about the success of the country as a whole — not just himself,'' supporter Mark Pincus, cofounder of online game maker Zynga, said in a statement issued by the Clinton campaign.
The endorsements announced by Clinton's campaign follow two days of campaign events intended to discredit Trump as unscrupulous and greedy in business, while presenting Clinton's economic framework in contrast.
Trump's appeal as an outsider with success in business and no government experience is both one of his strongest drawing cards and a potential vulnerability, Clinton strategists say. An early goal of the general election is to get voters to question Trump's motives and skills in business as well as his commitment to helping others.
Trump is employing a similar strategy in reverse, attacking Clinton on Wednesday as unqualified and unprincipled. He sought to use her tenure as secretary of state against her, accusing her of using the post to benefit herself.
''Trump would destroy much of what is great about America. Hillary Clinton is the strong leader we need, and it's important that Trump lose by a landslide to reject what he stands for,'' Hastings said in a statement issued by the campaign.
Priorities USA Action, the major super PAC supporting likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, is broadening its campaign against her Republican rival with a new generational appeal urging young voters to ''Stop Trump/Stop Hate.''
On Thursday, the group planned to launch a multi-million-dollar online campaign against Donald Trump, targeting millennials with digital ads and a We Can Stop Hate website with shareable images of the real estate developer's provocative tweets and a call for people to share acts of kindness. The site, which seeks to harness the social media networks of millennials, also encourages young people to register to vote and will offer branded merchandise.
The first ad of the campaign features Dante Latchman, 17, of Las Vegas, whose fight against a rare form of cancer left him disabled. He is seen sitting on the floor of a living room, watching news footage of Trump mocking a disabled journalist.
''I don't want a president who makes fun of me,'' Latchman says. ''I want a president who inspires me, and that's not Donald Trump.''
The spot echoes the theme of a TV ad the super PAC began running this month in swing states featuring the parents of a young girl with spina bifida.
Priorities is spending $500,000 to run the new digital ad, called ''Dante,'' on Facebook, Instagram, and Pandora in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, and North Carolina until the Republican convention in July.
So far, there has not been a well-funded independent effort supporting Trump, who is backed by at least five super PACs that are jockeying over donors. But that could be changing: billionaire hedge-fund magnate Robert Mercer has converted a super PAC he funded with $13.5 million to back Senator Ted Cruz in the GOP primaries into an anti-Clinton group now registered as Make America Number 1. The group, which will go by the name Defeat Crooked Hillary PAC, is being led by David Bossie, president of the conservative advocacy group Citizens United, as Bloomberg first reported.