GE to Bernie Sanders: We've 'never been a large hit with socialists'

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 6:27 PM

Common Electric boss Jeff Immelt has fired back at Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders with an impassioned defense of his company.

GE to Bernie Sanders: We've 'never been a large hit with socialists'

Common Electric boss Jeff Immelt has fired back at Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders with an impassioned defense of his company.

"GE has been in business for one hundred twenty-four years, and we've never been a huge hit with socialists," Immelt said in a WA Post Op-Ed published Wednesday.

"We create wealth and jobs, instead of just calling for them in speeches," the iconic American company'south CEO said.

Immelt was responding to Sanders' claim that GE is "destroying the ethical fabric" of America by shutting down American factories, shipping jobs to China and Mexico and minimizing its tax bill.

"That's greed and that'south selfishness. That's lack of respect for people of this country," the Democratic candidate recently told the NY Daily News editorial board.

Immelt says Sanders is "lost the point" and that his company is "in the business of building genuine things and generating real growth."

How GE fits into the ethical fabric of America is "so plain to me," Immelt says.

Related: Bernie Sanders: JPMorgan and GE are destroying the fabric of America

The GE boss said his company had 125.000 U. S. employees and was committed to taking risks and investing in the future of the country.

Immelt pointed out that Sanders, the U. S. Senator from Vermont, has never visiting GE'south aviation plant in Rutland, VT., which has been churning out jet-engine components since the one thousand nine hundred fifty. The plant employs more than 1.000 people with high wages.

"Vermont'south Jr senator is always welcome to arrive by for a tour," Immelt said.

Sanders had taken specific issue with GE'south shrinking footprint in the U. S.

A CNNMoney analysis of GE'south regulatory filings shows that at the finish of two thousand fifteen just thirty-eight percent of GE'south employees were in the U. S., down from sixty-eight percent in one thousand nine hundred ninety-fifth. GE also has ten fewer U. S. plants today than a decade ago, while it's increased its overseas plants by fifty-eight.

Related: 'I like Bernie, but I don't wish my taxes to go up'

But Immelt defended that as well, noting that GE has customers in more than one hundred eighty countries and needs to support a presence there. He also pointed out that GE makes tons of stuff in America, exporting over $20 billion worth of goods each year.

"It'south simple to create hollow campaign promises and get cheap shots in speeches... but U. S. companies have to deliver for their employees, customers and shareholders every day," Immelt said. "GE operates in the real world."

Sanders has also knocked GE for being greedy by avoiding taxes, claiming that in a given year the company paid "nothing in taxes."

Immelt said Sanders got that incorrect too, adding: "repeating a lie over and over doesn't create it true."

GE said it pays billions in taxes and supports comprehensive tax reform, even if that raises the company'south tax rate.

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