(CNN) — The National Association of Manufacturers, one of the most influential business groups in the US, called on Vice President Mike Pence Wednesday to consider removing President Donald Trump from office.
The statement from Republican-leaning NAM, the nation’s largest manufacturing association, marks perhaps the strongest political statement by a major business group in modern history. And it puts an exclamation point on the breakup between the business community and the self-styled CEO president.
Pence “should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy,” NAM CEO Jay Timmons, a former Republican political operative, said in the statement.
The comments show just how appalled Corporate America is over the ongoing attack on democracy. NAM, founded in 1895, is one of the oldest and most powerful business groups in the nation, representing small and large manufacturers in all 50 states.
The call comes after Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol, interrupting the joint session of Congress counting Electoral College votes. Pence was evacuated during the chaos.
“The outgoing president incited violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader defending him is violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favor of anarchy,” Timmons said. He added, “This is not law and order. This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous. This is sedition and it should be treated as such.”
Business community is ‘horrified’
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, one of America’s top business leaders, also condemned the violence in Washington.
“This is not who we are as a people or a country. We are better than this,” Dimon said in a statement. “Our elected leaders have a responsibility to call for an end to the violence, accept the results, and, as our democracy has for hundreds of years, support the peaceful transition of power. Now is the time to come together to strengthen our exceptional union.”
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, founder of Yale University’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute, said the condemnation from NAM is unprecedented.
“Everyone in the business community is horrified,” Sonnenfeld told CNN Business.
Sonnenfeld agreed with NAM’s call for Pence and the Cabinet to consider the 25th Amendment. “The business community will give them back-up,” he said.
Manufacturing group championed the Trump agenda
The call by NAM is even more startling because the advocacy group is staunchly pro-business and was a vocal supporter of Trump, cheering the president’s tax cuts, deregulation and efforts to revive manufacturing.
In 2018, Republican Congressman…