Bernie Marcus, the 94-year-old founder of Home Depot and Job Creators Network and the dean of the conservative donor class, threw his support Thursday behind former President Donald Trump in 2024 and implored Republicans to train their resources on attacking President Joe Biden instead of each other.
Marcus, for decades one of the most influential donors in politics and philanthropy, made the endorsement in the immediate aftermath of the third Republican primary debate, which drew an unexpectedly small audience and some criticisms as well.
The Republican National Committee has carried on with debates despite Trump's unwillingness to participate as he has built a large double-digit lead in the GOP primary. Marcus deemed the debates to be "unproductive and embarrassing" spectacles in light of Trump's runaway frontrunner status.
"Let’s face it: Donald Trump is going to win the nomination. You should be doing all you can to ensure his winning the general election," Marcus wrote in a RealClearPolitics op-ed. "I understand the frustration of some of my Republican friends who do not like or are offended by things Donald Trump does and says. I, too, have been frustrated at times, but we 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."
"I endorse him not only because he has the best chance of winning the general election but because he is the best person to take on and dismantle the administrative state that is strangling America," he added, before highlighting the ongoing ongoing in the Middle East and praising Trump's history of maintaining peace abroad.
"America’s enemies respect and, more importantly, fear Donald Trump’s judgment, strength, decisiveness, and courage," he declared. "I urge my fellow Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to put their love for America above all else. I urge the Republican National Committee to end the Republican debates that only benefit ad makers and political consultants."
Marcus's post-debate endorsement of Trump may signal that disaffected Republican donors who have held out hope that an alternative candidate may emerge through the primary process are reconciling themselves to a Trump candidacy. With the Iowa caucuses scheduled for mid-January, alternative candidates may yet see their resources run dry ahead of the start of the nominating contests.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.