Candidates leap onto Black Friday bandwagon

November 27, 2015

U.S. retailers may be disappointed in weaker Black Friday sales the day after Thanksgiving, but U.S. presidential candidates are still hoping to drum up some business — and supporters — over the holiday weekend.

In what is typically a major shopping day, several Republican candidates seeking their party’s nod in the 2016 race for the White House lured supporters on Friday with discounts on campaign hats, shirts and other memorabilia.

“Looking for some new Marco gear? Shop our Cyber Monday sales all weekend long!” Republican Marco Rubio’s campaign tweeted. A campaign online store for the U.S. senator’s presidential bid promised “New Products + Cyber Monday Deals ALL WEEKEND LONG.” To sweeten deal, Rubio’s site offered a free limited-edition decal to lucky buyers.

Rivals Jeb Bush, Florida’s former governor, and U.S. Senator Rand Paul offered 20 percent off on some items, while another Republican candidate, Ohio Governor John Kasich, offered 15 percent off.

“Football > Shopping. But you should still check out our online store for 20% off,” Bush’s campaign urged in a tweet.

Among Democrats, with just three candidates seeking their party’s nomination ahead of the November 2016 election, the offers were more subdued, with just former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley calling for supporters to shop his campaign website – but with no discount code.

Self described Democratic socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont used Black Friday to skewer retail giant Wal-Mart: “@Walmart shouldn’t be allowed to pay workers wages so low that many qualify for Medicaid, food stamps, and government housing. #BlackFriday”

Still, both party’s front-runners — Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton – did not issue Black Friday shopping calls online.

Trump, a businessman who has his own line of menswear, late on Thursday took a swipe at Macy’s, which stopped selling his products earlier this year amid controversial remarks he made over immigration, praising a supporter who vowed not to shop there. “A very disloyal chain!” he said on Twitter.


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