New Gander Mountain Owner Facing Backlash Over Anti-Trump Comment

Gander Mountain, Lemonis, Marcus, Trump
Image Credit: Corey Coyle

NEW YORK — The new owner of Minnesota-based Gander Mountain had some strong words for supporters of President Donald Trump after the riots in Charlottesville, Virginia last week.

Marcus Lemonis: If you’re OK with what Trump said, don’t shop at my businesses from CNBC.

Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World and the host of CNBC’s The Profit went on the show August 16 and told the hosts of Power Lunch, “There’s no doubt that there is probably not many consumers in this country today that are in favor of what has been said in the last couple days and if they are, quite frankly, don’t shop at my business.”

The strong condemnation of Trump supporters came after the president’s back-and-forth statements to the press blaming both white supremacists and counter-protesters known as ANTIFA for the violence that occurred in the small Virginia town.

Lemonis, who rescued the outdoor fishing and hunting store from bankruptcy a few months ago, announced Tuesday that Gander Mountain headquarters would be relocated from St. Paul, Minnesota to Bloomington, Minnesota according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. The announcement comes as Lemonis has pledged to keep more than 70 Gander Mountain stores open.

A 2012 national survey of hunters and anglers by the National Wildlife Federation shows 42 percent of hunters and anglers identify as Republican, while 32 percent identify as Independent and just 18 percent consider themselves Democrat.

Of those surveyed, 50 percent claim to have a conservative ideology, while another 37 percent consider themselves to be more moderate. Just 10 percent of hunters and anglers claim to have a liberal ideology.

With a majority of hunters and anglers living in the Midwest and South, 33 percent and 41 percent respectively, where a majority of outdoor sporting goods stores are located, the statements against Trump supporters could hurt business – something Lemonis realizes.

On August 22, Lemonis offered a clarification of his statements on the Camping World Youtube page.

“For the record what I said is that if you are okay with what happened in Charlottesville what was said and what was done I’m not okay with it,” Lemonis states.

Lemonis goes on to state he understands that hate speech is par for the course when it comes to the protections of free speech, but “with what was said and what was done in Charlottesville, I’m not ok with it.” He also went on to condemn all violence, on both sides.

“I’m against hatred and I’m against violence from anybody of any kind,” Lemonis says in the video.

Alpha News reached out to Marcus Lemonis for comment, but he did not respond in time for publication.

Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.