Costco cofounder Jim Sinegal supports, hosts President Obama

July 24, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 11 a.m. July 24, 2012

Costco cofounder and former CEO Jim Sinegal endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election Monday and defended the president’s economic policies, less than 24 hours before Sinegal hosts Obama at a campaign fundraiser.

Jim Sinegal

Sinegal and cofounder Jeffrey Brotman launched Costco in 1983. Sinegal stepped down as CEO in January and handed the reins to Craig Jelinek.

Costco relocated corporate headquarters to Issaquah in the mid-1990s. The company is the largest employer in the city, encompassing about 2,700 people in corporate offices and at the flagship warehouse in Pickering Place.

Sinegal’s support for Obama’s economic policies comes as presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney attacked Obama for the phrase, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Romney used the out-of-context remark to portray Obama as denigrating the success of small business owners.

“You might be seeing some ads or hearing some folks say that President Obama doesn’t support small business owners,” Sinegal wrote in a blog post on the Obama campaign website and in a mass email to Obama supporters. “But he understands that small businesses grow and prosper because of individual initiative — because entrepreneurs like you and me do the hard work it takes, and that we can’t do it alone.”

Sinegal turned to Costco’s roots to expound on Obama’s statement.

“My own story is proof — I come from a very humble background, and I truly believe that I couldn’t have succeeded in any other place but America,” Sinegal continued. “I got a good, affordable education from a state university. I had the chance to pitch my business plan to investors, and they heard and supported me. Thanks to a strong nationwide transportation system and infrastructure, we’ve opened warehouses across the country and around the world.”

Obama is due to attend a $35,800-per-person campaign fundraiser and, later, a $5,000-per-plate dinner at Sinegal’s Hunts Point home on Tuesday night. Proceeds go to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint effort between the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

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27 Responses to “Costco cofounder Jim Sinegal supports, hosts President Obama”

  1. sam smithy on July 25th, 2012 9:38 am

    Time to quit the costco membership, how anyone can endorse this dividing socialist is beyond me.

  2. martha john mclaughlin on July 26th, 2012 3:59 am

    we cant believe senegal supports this jerk unamerican person. we are taking back what we bought the other day to the store that we derive a long distance to but maybe no more.

  3. JoniC on July 26th, 2012 3:46 pm

    Obama is a true Marxist/Socialist, killing small businesses here and who is the by far the most anti-Jewish President this country has ever had! Good-bye Costco!!

  4. Bill on July 26th, 2012 7:03 pm

    I can’t believe that he would support Obama. But i guess it makes sense considering the MSNBC special on the OBAMA NETWORK. It disappoints me as a shareholder and employee that he would support him and his OBAMA TAX.

  5. ROD H. on July 29th, 2012 10:19 am

    I would not believe this guy is so nuts that he must support Obama;however, boycotting his stores and trying to put him out of business is only going to hurt the employees

  6. Al & Margie Trejo on August 2nd, 2012 9:41 pm

    Dear Jim: Thank you for suppporting Pres. Obama. We are stockholders of COSTCO and are delighted to know you are backing Pres. Obama.

  7. Al & Margie Trejo on August 2nd, 2012 9:42 pm

    Dear Jim: We are stockholders in COSTCO and are proud to know you are supporting Pres. Barack Obama – way to go!!

  8. Rob E on August 3rd, 2012 4:59 pm

    I am not a Costco member by will be joining now. It’s great to see a business person who has the courage to speak the truth. I started my first business at 25 now 62 and several businesses later I know you don’t do it on your own. I also know Romney’s name helped propel him in his business.

  9. Rita on August 5th, 2012 10:31 am

    I will definately be going to get a membership from Costco. As the President stated. It takes everyone for everyone to succeed. I’m glad the CEO had the spirit to come out against Mitt Romney plan which is crap for all. Even though republicans don’t
    Like President Obama plans, they are the first to take advantage of his tax breaks.

  10. Bill on August 5th, 2012 11:58 pm

    I’m quite disappointed to read that Sinegal has chosen to disrespect those members of Costco who support Romney. Just as those who now will join Costco because of his revelations I will cancel mine. I must admit that it’s not entirely Sinegal’s Obama support that is causing me to leave Costco but the store has really changed for the worse over the past few years. The selection of quality products has truly diminished along with their declining customer service. Back to Sams Club for me.

  11. Becca on August 9th, 2012 7:49 pm

    Cancel my membership Costco today. Anyone who says that Obama supports small business hasn’t listened to him or his policies. I liked Costco and shopped there weekly but I can’t support this failed presidency. Any large corporation like Costco that supports Obama is more interested in themselves than America. We know how Obama rewards his supporters with our tax dollars.

  12. Stephanie on August 10th, 2012 1:59 pm

    It’s good to see support for political moderation. The right wing has gone much to far in their ideology, so much that even many Republicans are deserting the party. I love CostCo and will continue to do business with them.

    By the way, aren’t all of you who are boycotting CostCo because of this denying someone or other Freedom of Speech, the same way those who boycotted Chic-Fil-A did? Or are you hypocrites and liars? It’s not an accusation, just a question.

  13. Jack Wilson on August 14th, 2012 11:06 am

    Costco is a small business? Valued at around $40 Billion?

  14. Mike on August 16th, 2012 7:51 pm

    I’m a long-time Costco member but will not have my money used to support a person determined to undermine true free market principles. Will cancel my membership immediately.

  15. Bisness owner on August 17th, 2012 1:03 pm

    Just as those who boycotted other chains for speaking out in the name of free speech I have chosen to no longer renew my membership in Cosco and have cut all ties with the company. As a small business owner I feel Obama is not the president I will support nor will I choose to support business who waste their money on Obama and his campaign.

  16. Wibbler chips on August 17th, 2012 1:11 pm

    What a naive’ fool they have for a CEO. Obama is ANYTHING but pro small business. He is anti capitalist and Anti America which means he is against small businesses. Small business relies on capitalism to grow upon and thrive. Communism and socialism kill small businesses because the wealth these small businesses would normally gain will be taken by the socialist government,thereby killing the ability to grow and prosper.
    He is pro Marxist socialism and he will welcome communism as he continues his CFR designed plan to destroy free America and turn it into a communitarian socialist regime.

  17. Donald Ray Dean on August 17th, 2012 11:02 pm


  18. B C BOYER on August 24th, 2012 9:48 am

    Very disappointed to hear of “MR.COSTCO” follows and supports a MARXIST /SOCIALIST. A great way to repay his members for their loyalty to him and his AMERICAN Company……..he should rethink his actions, as I will rethink my actions, being a COSTCO MEMBER. Count me out. Hard to believe that AMERICAN EXPRESS will continue their affiliation with a MARXIST ORGANIZATION, VERY UNAMERICAN EXPRESS


  19. Elena on September 5th, 2012 2:44 pm

    Thanks for letting me know. My family will cancel costco and join Sam’s Club. I hear they have better prices anyway

  20. David Owens on September 5th, 2012 2:56 pm

    What a sawed off effing moron. Obama-AKA Barry Soetoro from Indonesia-despises America. If Sinegal had half a brain he would know that. Costco was successful because of America’s roads? How did this dimwit promote?

  21. Costco member on September 5th, 2012 7:40 pm

    Imagine that, a corporate leader who believes as much in the financial well-being and dignity of his employees as he does in the loyalty of his customers. Costco needs to be a model for every company doing business in America. Mr. Sinegal is a clever capitalist and a true patriot to boot.

  22. Roy on September 7th, 2012 7:08 am

    That does it, I wont shop at Cosco again. I guess the CEO has a death wish for his business as Obama will kill more businesses with four more years than you could imagine even after looking at Obamas first four years. Obama is a disaster for the USA and Cosco!

  23. Dan on September 23rd, 2012 6:37 am

    Not stepping foot in Costco ever again. He kept referring to “Our Company” , is that fair to the employees of Costco to be associated with this president? It’s puts them in a class that supports the decline and fall of everything our founders envisioned.

  24. John on September 25th, 2012 7:10 am

    Jim Sinegal ,You and everyone else that supports Oboma are a fool and traitor to the USA. Oboma’s agenda from the start has been to destroy America. If you can’t see that you need to go to Europe with all those fools.

  25. Julie on November 30th, 2012 12:58 pm

    If you think that SAMS doesn’t support Obama you are fooling yourselves! They removed their adds from Limbaugh along with WalMart because Limbaugh is against Obama. Not shopping at Costco is only going to kill the employees jobs. Why punish them? If you shop at SAMS you are still supporting Obama’s policies it’s just not in plain black and white, its in the fine print! Duh!

  26. William & Linda Johnson on July 9th, 2014 12:05 pm

    We have been Costco members for many years. You have a right to your political views, but when you use them to remove a book, “America” from your book shelves, that is terribly disappointing to us. We will cancel our Costco membership unless that book is back in your stores by Monday, July 14.

  27. Sara Thomas on July 24th, 2014 12:17 pm

    Sinegal has a right to host Obama. I really admire Sinegal, but I’m very confused why he admires Obama..a man who apparently has little love for this country, cares far more for himself and is as far away from the definition of a “statesman” that I have ever read about.

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