NEW YORK– Sheryl Sandberg is “leaning in” to support Hillary Clinton for president.
The Facebook COO is one of 56 prominent American business leaders who endorsed Clinton on Thursday. The list includes billionaire Warren Buffett, Google executive chair Eric Schmidt and Dan Akerson, a Republican and former CEO of General Motors.
“Trump would destroy much of what is great about America,” said Reed Hastings, CEO and cofounder of Netflix. He says he’s supporting Clinton because “it’s important that Trump lose by a landslide to reject what he stands for.”
Business has traditionally sided with Republicans, but Clinton is campaigning hard among big and small business leaders who are concerned about Trump’s plans to erect walls — literally and figuratively — with Mexico and other parts of the world. Some even go as far as to say Trump’s policies would send the U.S. into a recession.
Jim Cicconi, an AT&T executive who worked for Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, says he has supported every Republican for president since 1976, but this time he’s backing Clinton. Sandberg’s support for Clinton comes the same week she is meeting with top Republicans in Congress, including House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Silicon Valley goes for Clinton
Silicon Valley likes what it’s hearing from Clinton. Over a third of the business leaders who announced their support for Clinton Thursday head up prominent technology companies like Airbnb, Tumblr and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins.
The tech superstars are also sending a lot of cash to Clinton. Only 52 tech industry workers have made political contributions to Donald Trump, according to data compiled by Crowdpac. Compared to that, over 2,000 tech workers have donated to Clinton.
Trump has struggled to raise money so far. At the end of May, Clinton’s campaign had $42 million in the bank compared to $1.3 million in Trump’s coffers,according to Federal Election Commission reports.
In a fiery speech this week, Clinton laid out five key ideas to boost the U.S. economy. At the top of the list is a massive hike in infrastructure spending to repair roads and bridges and build out the U.S. internet highways.
Wall Street isn’t backing Clinton
Female entrepreneurs like Miki Agrawal, founder of Thinx, and fashion icon Rebecca Minkoff, are also joining the Clinton camp.
There’s just one area where support for Clinton is noticeably weak: Wall Street. Other than Buffett, there are no bankers on the list the 56 executives supporting Clinton. Wall Street CEOs like JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon, who gave a lot of money to the 2009 Obama inauguration committee, haven’t endorsed her. Many are waiting to see if Clinton chooses Senator Elizabeth Warren, an outspoken critic of Wall Street, as her running mate.
Trump, meanwhile, continues to talk about his business acumen. And Americans so far like what they hear — when asked who would be the better candidate for the economy, more American voters pick Trump than Clinton.
“I started off in Brooklyn, New York with a small loan that today is worth well over $10 billion. That’s the kind of thinking we need,” Trump said Wednesday, shortly after meeting with Wall Street investors and business leaders in New York City Tuesday night.
By Heather Long