Tom Cotton leaves woke Kroger CEO, asking for GOP help, speechless in Senate hearing: ‘Best of luck’

The phrase “go woke, go broke” isn’t merely an expression and two grocery store chains might yet experience some of the real-world consequences of pushing the progressive agenda after Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) dropped the mic: “I’m sorry that’s happening to you…”


Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a proposed roughly $25 billion merger of grocery store chains Kroger and Albertsons. In order for the deal to go through, the companies, which currently hold the second and fourth largest percentage of market share respectively, needed to obtain approval from federal regulators.

When it came time for Cotton to address CEOs Rodney McMullen (Kroger) and Vivek Sankaran (Albertsons), the Arkansas lawmaker was keen to bring up a history of decisions unfavorable toward conservatives.

“This situation reminds me a little bit of the situation Big Tech companies have found themselves in in recent years,” he said. “They’ve come to Washington because they fear regulation from our Democratic friends or action by the Biden administration and they expect Republicans, who are traditionally more supportive of free enterprise, to come to their defense.”

In particular, he made reference to a recently settled religious discrimination lawsuit against Kroger that resulted in two employees being awarded $180,000 after they were fired for refusing to wear company aprons adorned with a rainbow-colored heart patch considered a symbol supporting the LGBT community.

When asked by Cotton, “If this merger goes through, who’s going to be making decisions about uniforms?” McMullen responded with a defense of the uniforms and said, “The heart is a symbol of our fundamental purpose…to be in community spirit. And part of being the human spirit is the heart and that heart is our fundamental strategy to support our purpose. The colors were not tied to any specific thing.”

The senator also raised concerns over employee expectations calling for more “inclusive” language with speaking with customers. “Do you really expect 72-year-old employees in rural areas of Arkansas to stop using words like ‘sir’ and ‘ma’am’?” Cotton asked.

Kroger’s other offenses against traditional American values and conservative views have been spotlighted in recent years when they announced the recall of certain patriotic merchandise after progressives complained about coozies that had messages such as “Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death” and “Arms Change, Rights Don’t.”

Furthermore, Kroger had singled out employees who did not get the COVID vaccine with a decision to eliminate paid emergency leave and add a $50 surcharge to their health insurance.

“And I’ve cautioned them for years that if they silence conservatives and center-right voters across the country, if they discriminate against them in their company,” Cotton expressed, “they probably shouldn’t come and ask Republican senators to carry the water for them whenever our Democratic friends want to regulate them or block their mergers.”

In case his derision for their history of behavior hadn’t been clear, the senator closed with one concise statement before turning off his microphone, “I’ll say this: I’m sorry that’s happening to you. Best of luck.”

Kevin Haggerty


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