Romney: Tell Your Employees Who to Vote For

This just dropped on the intertubes today and it’s bound to cause a stir.

Listen to Mitt Romney say that businesses should tell their employees who to vote for.

At the 26:35 minute mark at the close of the conference call:

I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefor their job and their future in the upcoming elections. And whether you agree with me or you agree with President Obama, or whatever your political view, I hope you pass those along to your employees. Nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business. Because I think that will figure in to their election decision. Their voting decision.

Given that Romney was speaking to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, an astro-turf group who spearheaded and took the campaign to strike down Obamacare all the way to the Supreme Court, and given the nature of the callers, it’s highly unlikely Romney was speaking to anyone who agrees with President Obama.

In effect, Romney expressed his desire that those on the conference call project fear into their employees minds. Because it may impact “their job and their future.”

(h/t Shawn Sukumar Attorney at Law)

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  • D_C_Wilson

    Some really awful ideas have infected corporate America over the last few decades. On the one hand, they want the right to treat their employees as disposable cogs that can be used up and discarded at will. On the other hand, they want to dictate to us what we should think and how we should vote.

    Is every CEO dreaming of one day becoming a plantation owner in Antebellum South?

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      Is every CEO dreaming of one day becoming a plantation owner in Antebellum South?

      Yes, yes they are.

      • BuffaloBuckeye

        Yes, that is their dream; f they aren’t already.

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    There should be some kind of law that an employer cannot intimidate employees on behalf of political campaigns. I’m all for free speech, but there are still limitations on it. The classic fire in a crowded theater example.

    The person shouting fire should understand that there is a likelihood that harm would result to the other patrons of the theater. How is that any different than an employer who tells employees who to vote for? Won’t an employee think, “OMG, will I lose my job if I don’t vote that way? Can they make my life hell here? What will happen if their candidate loses the election no matter who I vote for?” All of that may be erroneous, but just like the panicked theater goer they’ve heard someone shout “fire” and that’s all they have to go on. It is a reasonable expectation that employees would feel threatened by such instructions and feel coerced into doing something they may not want to do for fear of negative consequences. Unlike the theater patrons, employees won’t end up getting stomped and overrun by the panicked crowd and becoming physically injured or killed. They will wonder if they’ll get figuratively stomped by the Employer and if that will cause their family to be unable to eat, loss of healthcare (which could cause death in some cases), inability to pay for a roof over their head, etc. I’m thinking specifically of those coal miners who were forced to go that Romney rally in OH or KY.

    What do you all think?

    • muselet

      It’s not unlike requiring employees to attend meetings in which they’re told how awful it would be to vote to join a union. Because the company would have to cut jobs if the employees unionize, don’t you know.

      Wouldn’t it be nice if employers realized they don’t actually own their employees?

      –alopecia

      • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

        What? You mean progress beyond the Dark Ages?! Never….bloody peasants. ;)

  • mrbrink

    Vote for Mitt Romney, or Daddy will beat you. Your choice.

    Freedom!!!

  • incredulous72

    I WISH I could be shocked and appalled; I’m not.

    Republicans have been telling their constituents how to vote for decades. They do it with the evangelical crowd; the ignorant that they can manipulate to make them believe that “big gubmint is comin’ fer ya” even though the majority of them are dependent upon that very government; to businesses “influencing” their employees to vote a certain way or run the risk of losing their jobs not because they’ll be fired, but because the other guy is going to make it so bad that the business will go under.

    They’re just so desperate now that they’re not doing it behind closed doors anymore.

    Well, that and they still don’t get the whole “intertubes” thingy.

  • roxsteady

    Wow Ashby! This clip is on the dailykos and the huffington post. I’d only skimmed the story but, I didn’t realize that Romney was speaking to the National Federation of Independent Businesses and I also didn’t realize that they were involved in suing the administation over Obamacare. I wish that someone would get this information to Elizabeth Warren because that prick Scott Brown is constantly mentioning this group in his debates with her. She needs to tell the people of Massachusetts this in their last debate coming up on October 30th. What a fraud!

    • JMAshby

      The case against Obamacare was NFIB vs Sebelius

  • bphoon

    I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefor their job and their future in the upcoming elections.

    I can certainly understand how an employer telling an employee this would seem intimidating to most folks. For myself, however, my thought would be that my vote is secret so how would my employer know how I voted. I certainly don’t buy the idea that Obama’s reelection will drive businesses out of business. Not with business, in aggregate, reaping some of the highest profits in human history.

    But, then, I endured plenty of lectures about such things during my years in the military so I’m desensitized to that.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Does every CEO in America now have dreams of being a plantation owner in the Antebellum South?

  • JoyP

    Is this the same group that David Gregory gave/will give and address to?

  • trgahan

    Obama should use this as a jumping off point for a “If your employer fires you because I was reelected, start your own business to take his!” small business loan program.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=663669914 Sean Richardson

    “When I was governor of Massachusetts, I told everybody in my office that they’d better vote for me next time, or they’d lose their jobs!”