Home Depot Billionaire Bernie Marcus Endorses Donald Trump – Forbes
The megadonor’s acceptance of the ex-president follows a disappointing election for Republicans—and favorable polling numbers for Trump.
Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus speaks prior to a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Georgia Aquarium November 19, 2005 in Atlanta, Goergia. (Photo by Barry Williams/Getty Images)
Bernie Marcus, the 94-year-old cofounder of Home Depot, has endorsed Donald Trump’s campaign for reelection, in a win for the embattled ex-president’s bid to woo back the Republican party mega donors that have abandoned him.
“Let’s face it: Donald Trump is going to win the nomination,” Marcus wrote in an op-ed for RealClearPolitics. “[W]e cannot let his brash style be the reason we walk away from his otherwise excellent stewardship of the United States during his first term in office.”
Trump, insists Marcus, “has the best chance of winning the general election,” and is “the best person to take on and dismantle the administrative state that is strangling America.”
His endorsement of Trump follows a disappointing election week for Republicans, in which the GOP failed in a number of key contests, as well as new polling data from the New York Times, which shows Trump ahead of President Joe Biden in a number of key swing states.
Marcus, who is worth over $8 billion and has donated tens of millions of dollars to Republican politicians and causes, had remained on the sidelines for 2024 until yesterday. “I look forward to seeing the candidate field and will much later in the political process make my decision,” he told news site Puck back in May.
In recent months, a group of GOP megadonors and billionaires urged Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, a former private equity executive, to enter the presidential race and take on Donald Trump, according to billionaire Thomas Peterffy, the founder of Interactive Brokers. “I have spoken to Youngkin, and I have spoken to many big GOP donors. We are all enthusiastic and waiting for him to win Virginia and enter the race,” Peterffy told Forbes last week, before the election.
Marcus appears to have been among that pack. He gave $250,000 to Youngkin’s Spirit of Virginia PAC last month. All told, Forbes counted 13 billionaires who had donated over $5.9 million to Youngkin’s PAC between April and October. Following this week’s election, Youngkin suggested he would not be entering the presidential race.
Trump will be hoping other Republican billionaire donors go the way of Marcus, though there is no sign yet of a broader shift. Jeff Yass, who gave $2 million to Youngkin’s PAC last month, gave $10 million earlier this year to a super PAC seeking a Trump alternative. Ronald Lauder, another Youngkin donor ($50,000 last month) and a former Trump backer, stated a year ago that he would not be supporting Trump’s reelection bid.
Peterffy, for his part, refused to endorse Trump after Youngkin’s loss and says he does not yet know who he’ll be supporting. “One thing is certain,” he wrote to Forbes in an email following the election, “I will only support a candidate who, no matter their personal beliefs, will undertake the protection of individual rights for self-determination, and that includes abortion and child rearing and education in the manner they see fit.” Marcus could not be reached for comment.