'Dear Donald': SF tech CEO takes out full-page ad in New York Times
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - A San Francisco tech CEO just dropped some serious coin to try to bruise Donald Trump's ego.
36-year-old Josh Tetrick, CEO of Hampton Creek, took out a full-page ad in the New York Times and The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, slamming the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, calling his campaign "un-American.”
The Washington Post reports that the Times ad alone may have cost upwards of $152,000.
"Dear Donald...” the full-page ad begins.” Americans are frustrated and angry and scared. You've channeled this into your nomination. Americans are also good. We're generous and courageous and kind. That’s what you've missed; a single mom in Birmingham who taught her son how to rise while respecting women, the Toledo autoworkers fighting to protect the jobs of their immigrant brothers and the families of faith in Little Rock who believe in lowering taxes without lowering their values. This is who we are and this is why your campaign will break down. Your campaign doesn't just seem wrong. It feels un-American. To support it would make me less of myself, less of my grandpa's grandson, less of my mom's son. Turning away from you is a way to say who we are."
Tetrick signs the ad and it leaves a phone number with a 415 area code.
"This ad summarizes what a lot of people feel,” said Stephen Kong of San Francisco.
"This pretty in-your-face," said Simon Burns, San Francisco.
Hampton Creek is a San Francisco food-tech company focused on finding ways to use plants to produce affordable food products.
So why would he take on Trump?
"Life is short and I wanted to say something," said Tetrick. "Values more than anything motivated me to write it. I grew up with a single mom in Birmingham, Alabama. Many of my friends were Republican who grew up going to church and it sort of struck me that we're arguing over the wrong things in this campaign."
Tetrick, who never once utters Trump's name in the hour that KTVU spent at Hampton Creek's 90,000 square foot facility, points to Trump's stance on immigration and the style of his campaign.
"I think he's espousing a campaign, as I said in the letter, that is un-American,"
Tetrick has received more than 600 phone calls since the ads hit press, including calls from Republican members of Congress. His voice mailbox is full.
"We have immigrant grandmas who responded. We have navy war veterans who responded. We have teachers who say I don't stand for this," he explained.
On the streets of San Francisco, a city known as a liberal bastion, support for Trump was virtually nil.
"I think Donald Trump is a stupid racist," said Jasmine Johnson of Oakland.
"It makes me embarrassed to be an American honestly," said Carina Hampton of San Francisco.
"It doesn't even matter who makes it into office because it's still going to be the same stuff," said Ferrari Calwell of Union City.
But most people we spoke to said it does matter and that the only way to truly make a difference is to get out and vote come November.
"There's a beautiful quote by Elie Wiesel," said Tetrick, "who said the opposite of love, isn't hate, it's indifference. I won't be that, my company won't be that and I don't think the American people should be that this election season."