U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged people to stop buying Goodyear Tires, in a tweet that appears to urge his supporters to participate in the same “cancel culture” he denounced last month as a “weapon” of the “totalitarian” left.
“DON’T BUY GOODYEAR TIRES” Trump tweeted in a caps-filled message on Wednesday morning.
“They announced a BAN ON MAGA (Make America Great Again) HATS. Get better tires for less!” He went on to blame the alleged slight on the “Radical Left Democrats,” adding: “Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!”
The spark for Trump’s Goodyear rant appears to have been a news report by WIBW in Topeka, Kan. The station published a photo of a presentation slide that was allegedly shown to Goodyear Tire employees at a diversity training session, which listed “MAGA Attire” as unacceptable at work. The slide also suggests that Black Lives Matter or pro-LGBT messages are acceptable, but “Blue Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter” and political slogans are not.
Goodyear has distanced itself from the slide, saying that it did not come from the company’s corporate office.
Trump’s attack on Goodyear came after he railed against “cancel culture” in a speech at Mount Rushmore on July 4. The phenomenon often involves boycotting a person or brand for perceived misdeeds, regardless of political stripe. However, Trump has sought to portray it as a purely left-leaning activity, despite frequently using the same tactics against his own enemies, especially on Twitter.
“One of their political weapons is ‘cancel culture’ — driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees,” Trump said in his Independence Day speech.
“This is the very definition of totalitarianism, and it is completely alien to our culture and our values, and it has absolutely no place in the United States of America.”
Trump worked hard last month to prop up Goya Foods, a popular retailer of canned beans that faced a boycott after its CEO sat down with the president. The episode prompted critics to accuse Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, of violating federal ethics laws.
Many were quick to accuse Trump of hypocrisy on Wednesday after he targeted Goodyear on Twitter.
Meidas Touch, an anti-Trump political action committee, called him the “Cancel culture president” in a tweet that racked up thousands of reactions. The tweet included several of Trump’s own attempts to marshal boycotts against his perceived enemies, including Macy’s, Harley Davidson, Apple, HBO, Glenfiddich and various news organizations. Some of the tweets predated Trump’s presidency, while others were issued during it.
Goodyear said on Wednesday that the anti-MAGA slide did not come from its corporate office, and that it was not part of a diversity training class.
“To be clear on our longstanding corporate policy, Goodyear has zero tolerance for any forms of harassment or discrimination,” the statement read. “To enable a workplace environment free of those, we ask that associates refrain from workplace expressions in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party, as well as similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues.”
The company added that it “has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany doubled down on criticism of Goodyear on Wednesday afternoon, when she suggested that the company’s statement wasn’t clear enough.
“What was clearly targeted was a certain ideology. They have not denied that that image was presented at one of their facilities,” she said.
Trump’s allies have also tried to frame cancel culture as a tool of their opponents.
Congressman Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, slammed “cancel culture” in an op-ed for Cleveland.com on Wednesday, just a few hours before Trump’s tweet.
“You don’t have free speech when only one side is allowed to talk. You don’t have freedom when one side can be ‘canceled’ for disagreeing with the other,” Jordan wrote.
He concluded the op-ed by urging people to “reject ‘cancel culture'” by re-electing Trump on Nov. 3.
Trump’s presidential limo, known as “The Beast,” has used custom Goodyear tires for over a decade.
Goodyear is based in the United States and employs approximately 63,000 people in Akron, Ohio, a potential swing state in Trump’s bid for re-election this November.
The company’s stock price fell abruptly around 10:35 a.m. on Wednesday, which is when Trump sent out his tweet.
The stock price started to recover later in the afternoon.