Flaherty Blasts Wal-Mart on Fox News Channel

On Friday afternoon, I discussed Wal-Mart’s support for ObamaCare and Cap and Trade with guest host Connell McShane on Your World With Neil Cavuto on Fox News Channel. That morning, I spoke in favor of our shareholder proposal asking for a report on Wal-Mart’s lobbying priorities at the company’s annual meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Here’s a transcript of the interview:

Connell McShane (guest host): Wal-Mart today having its annual shareholders meeting, getting an earful from one group on the retail giant’s support of the new healthcare law also the cap and trade legislation. To the guy who is leading this charge, Peter Flaherty of the National Legal and Policy Center. So Wal-Mart supports cap and trade and supports health care Peter. What’s the big deal? Who cares? Why are you so angry about that?

Peter Flaherty (President, National Legal and Policy Center): Well Connell, I think it is a big deal. Wal-Mart is a huge, powerful institution that has now become an instrument for socialism. We argued today that the legacy of this company has been betrayed. It started under the former CEO Lee Scott.

Connell McShane: Right.

Peter Flaherty: It has continued with Mike Duke.

Connell McShane: In what way? How is the legacy…

Peter Flaherty: And furthermore, it is bad for Wal-Mart and it is bad for customers.

Connell McShane: How is the legacy being betrayed?

Peter Flaherty: Because Sam Walton was one of the greatest entrepreneurs this country had ever seen. Wal-Mart was synonymous with entrepreneurship and the American dream.

Connell McShane: Right.

Peter Flaherty: But now we have Wal-Mart supporting these socialist schemes, which is going to lead to a situation where we are like Europe. We have big government and big business in bed and of course the ordinary people are going to get the shaft.

Connell McShane: When I listen to all that – to that type of stuff, and you say oh we are like Europe and big government, that’s all fine, but the word socialism, don’t you think you lose some people on that? That’s a stretch, no?

Peter Flaherty: No, I don’t. These are not insignificant issues. What in the world is Wal-Mart doing supporting a take over of one sixth of the economy, in terms of health care? And what in the world is it doing supporting cap in trade…

Connell McShane: Right.

Peter Flaherty: …which will jack electric rates ninety percent, destroy a million jobs and extract ten trillion dollars from our gross domestic product over the next twenty five years. For heavens sake, how are people going to have any money left to shop at Wal-Mart?

Connell McShane: How did the meeting go today by the way?

Peter Flaherty: Well, good. I made the case, when I said the American people are against Obamacare, the full auditorium, the Bud Walton Arena, erupted in applause. So the people are with us. I believe Wal-Mart shareholders and customers are with us.

Connell McShane: Right. What did you, what are you pushing for though? You want them to just get rid of, stop supporting these efforts or do you just want to get your voice heard? Will it accomplish anything at the end of the day?

Peter Flaherty: Well we were there to make a point today.

Connell McShane: Yep. OK.

Peter Flaherty: I think it is a powerful point. Wal-Mart should act in its own best interests and in the interests of its customers and shareholders.

Connell McShane: Right.

Peter Flaherty: What it is trying to do instead is appease left wing activists and corrupt unions like the Service Employees International Union. I think the long term interests of Wal-Mart are served by supporting a free economy and leaving more money in peoples pockets so they can go shopping.

Connell McShane: We showed Mariah Carrey before the break. I wonder who was the bigger star there, was it you guys or was it her by the end of it?

Peter Flaherty: No, I was not the biggest star there. Mary J. Blige also performed.

Connell McShane: Oh yeah, she has got you.

Peter Flaherty: I said at the top of my remarks that I could not sing or dance, but I thought I had something important to say.

Connell McShane: Well Mary J. Blige has you and Mariah beat. But, thanks for coming on. It is good to talk to you.

Peter Flaherty: Thank you Connell.

Connell McShane: Good luck with the effort. Ok, that is the story on Wal-Mart.


Wal-Mart Support for ObamaCare, Cap and Trade Ripped at Annual Meeting

Former Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott Belittled at Goldman Sachs Annual Meeting

SEC Rules Wal-Mart Cannot Exclude NLPC Shareholder Proposal on ObamaCare, Cap and Trade

No Surprise Here: Wal-Mart Endorses Obama’s Health Care Mandate

Flaherty: Wal-Mart Embraces Obama Health Care to Appease Unions (CNBC video)

Is Wal-Mart Too Liberal? (Newsweek)

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