MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) Chairman and CEO Jim Murren is rolling the dice on Hillary Clinton by officially announcing his support for the former Secretary of State.
The lifelong registered Republican declared his support in an op-ed piece for the USA Today writing, “...when I go into the voting booth in November, I will proudly pull the lever for Hillary Clinton.”
In an interview with Liz Claman on FOX Business Network’s Countdown to the Closing Bell, Murren explained why he is casting a vote for Clinton and not Republican nominee Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
“I just felt like it was unacceptable for me to just remain silent and not at least lend my voice from a business person perspective as to why the erratic, unpredictable nature of one candidate will be harmful to the economy and the financial markets, and why a more predicable steady choice is the right way to go,” Murren said.
Murren has received some pushback from his Republican friends and assures them this is an opinion he has formed as a private citizen and is not reflective of 68,000 employees who work within MGM Resorts International.
“I do think that I hear [employees] voices when their issues are of diversity, and inclusion of immigration, of feeling that they are wanted and included,” he said.
According to the American Gaming Association, 45% of the industry’s workforce is comprised of minorities and nearly half (48%) are women. At MGM, 66% of its workforce is ethnically diverse.
“Many immigrants…have their first jobs in the hospitality industry and a lot of these folks are very, very scared about the political climate right now. I didn’t feel like I can just ignore that,” Murren explained.
During a speech in Youngstown, Ohio, Trump called for "extreme vetting" of immigrants seeking admission to the United States, especially in light of recent events in Europe when refugees have caused harm.
Murren agrees with stronger vetting as part of the immigration process, and doesn’t believe strong boarders and having a good immigration policy are “mutually exclusive objectives.”
“What has happened is this vilification of massive swaths of people from around the world at a time when the United States is a very big part of the global economy. We are not an isolationist nation and nor should we be,” Murren said.
The MGM CEO also discussed Clinton’s viewpoint on trade, which Murren says would provide a boost to the economy and benefit workers.
“There’s no doubt that we can improve our trade deals. But to take a step backwards, like for example rip up NAFTA and alienate two of our strongest allies is not moving in the right directions,” he said.