Billionaire Home Depot Co-Founder Bernard Marcus Backs Trump

(Bloomberg) -- Bernard Marcus, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot Inc. and a Republican megadonor, announced he’s backing Donald Trump for president, pointing to the likelihood that the GOP frontrunner will win the party’s nomination.

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In his endorsement, published Thursday on the RealClearPolitics website, Marcus acknowledged that he and other donors have been frustrated by the former president’s behavior. He concluded that Trump, who is leading his nearest rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, by more than 40 percentage points in many polls, will be the nominee.

The endorsement could bring a financial windfall for Trump. Marcus, along with his wife Billi Marcus, were the seventh most generous GOP donors in the 2020 election cycle, according to OpenSecrets. In the last presidential cycle, they gave $24.7 million, including $10.7 million to committees that supported Trump. In 2016, Marcus gave $7 million to super political action committees that backed Trump in his first run for the White House.

Earlier this year, Marcus, like many other prominent donors to Trump’s first two runs for the White House, backed one of his rivals. He gave $6,600 to former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s campaign in March.

Other prominent GOP donors have said they wouldn’t donate to Trump, including Steve Schwarzman of Blackstone Group Inc., cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder and Interactive Brokers Group Inc. founder Thomas Peterffy.

“[W]e cannot let his brash style be the reason we walk away from his otherwise excellent stewardship of the United States,” Marcus told other Republicans in his endorsement of Trump.

He cited Trump’s efforts at deregulation, as well as Russia’s war in Ukraine and the conflict between Israel and Hamas, a group designated as a terrorist organization by the US and European Union, as reasons for returning him to office.

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