Goya CEO calls Trump ‘legitimate president,’ triggering new calls for boycott

Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue reignited calls on social media to boycott his company after he described former President Trump as the “actual president of the United States.”

Unanue made the remarks over the weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Fla.

“It’s just an honor to be here. But my biggest honor today is gonna be that — I think we’re gonna be on the same stage — as, in my opinion, the real, the legitimate, and the still actual president of the United States, Donald J. Trump,” Unanue said, according to CNN.

Trump lost the election to President Biden but has refused to conceded defeat while spreading misinformation that widespread fraud cost him a victory. In reality, little fraud has been reported in connection to the election, and courts and state GOP officials have repeatedly sided against Trump’s arguments. 

Unanue also claimed without evidence that the presidential election and “the Georgia election” were “not legitimate.”

It sparked renewed calls for a boycott against Goya Foods on social media among celebrities and other users. 

The brand, which claims to be the country’s largest Hispanic-owned food company, had initially faced viral calls for boycotts in July after Unanue praised Trump at a White House event, at the time saying the nation was “truly blessed” to have a leader like the then-president.

“We have an incredible builder. And we pray — we pray for our leadership, our president and we pray for our country — that we will continue to prosper and to grow,” Unanue said then.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro was among a number of prominent figures to slam Unanue over the comments, pointing to the treatment of Latinos in the nation by the Trump administration at the time.

“@GoyaFoods has been a staple of so many Latino households for generations,” Castro tweeted at the time. “Now their CEO, Bob Unanue, is praising a president who villainizes and maliciously attacks Latinos for political gain. Americans should think twice before buying their products. #Goyaway.” 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) also knocked Unanue over the comments then, tweeting: “Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling ‘how to make your own Adobo.’”

Unanue pushed back against criticism not long after and refused to apologize for the comments, saying that the criticism he received among celebrities and top Democrats amounted to a “suppression of speech.”

He went on to face more backlash later in January after the chief executive, whose grandfather founded Goya, made comments disputing election results and claiming Biden’s electoral victory was “unverified.” 

After his comments, CNN and other outlets reported that the board of directors behind Goya voted to censure Unanue.

The CEO later claimed that he had “independently” decided to stop speaking to the press about politics and religion. 

“Independently, I’ve made the decision to lower the temperature and walk away from speaking about politics and religion,” he said then. “I realize it’s important because of the diverse views of the company and our market.”

The Hill has reached out to Goya Foods for comment about Unanue’s recent remarks.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Donald Trump Joe Biden Joy Behar Sunny Hostin
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