Obama shouts out Warroad-based, Romney-supporting Marvin Windows [VIDEO]
If Obama ever needs new windows or doors, we know who he's calling.
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Minnesota went atwitter after President Obama cited Warroad-based Marvin Windows and Doors as one of the things that "give [him] hope about America" during his rousing DNC speech last night.
Despite the fact that the Marvin family has a long history of giving to Republican candidates and causes, the company has repeatedly drawn the president's public praise for not laying off any of its 4,300 workers (2,000 in Warroad) since the Great Recession began.
Here's a transcript of Obama's Warroad shoutout, followed by raw footage of his speech (the Marvin remarks are about 35:30 in):
The family business in Warroad, Minnesota that didn't lay off a single one of their 4,000 employees during this recession, even when their competitors shut down dozens of plants, even when it meant the owners gave up some perks and pay -- because they understood their biggest asset was the community and the workers who helped build that business -- they give me hope.
Last night's Marvin shoutout echoes comments Obama made last December. During a speech in Kansas, he said:
I think about a company based in Warroad, Minnesota. It's called Marvin Windows and Doors. During the recession, Marvin's competitors closed dozens of plants, let hundreds of workers go. But Marvin's did not lay off a single one of their 4,000 or so employees -- not one. In fact, they've only laid off workers once in over a hundred years. Mr. Marvin's grandfather even kept his eight employees during the Great Depression.
Now, at Marvin's when times get tough, the workers agree to give up some perks and some pay, and so do the owners. As one owner said, "You can't grow if you're cutting your lifeblood -- and that's the skills and experience your workforce delivers." (Applause.) For the CEO of Marvin's, it's about the community. He said, "These are people we went to school with. We go to church with them. We see them in the same restaurants. Indeed, a lot of us have married local girls and boys. We could be anywhere, but we are in Warroad."
That's how America was built. That's why we're the greatest nation on Earth. That's what our greatest companies understand. Our success has never just been about survival of the fittest. It's about building a nation where we're all better off. We pull together. We pitch in. We do our part. We believe that hard work will pay off, that responsibility will be rewarded, and that our children will inherit a nation where those values live on.
But Obama's love isn't totally reciprocated by Marvin's ownership and management. According to the Star Tribune, in the last decade, Marvin family members have given federal Republican candidates and causes about $50,000 and MNGOP candidates at least $100,000. MinnPost reports that since 2010, CEO John Marvin gave $2,000 to Tim Pawlenty and $1,500 to (gasp!) Mitt Romney.
Still, the company appreciates the president's recognition. Following last night's speech, Marvin spokesman John Kirchner said the company is "honored that the president took notice of our longstanding efforts to strengthen our communities as we keep our work force intact."
"As a family-owned and operated company, our philosophy is simple: Do the right thing," Kirchner's statement continues. "If we stay focused on doing the right thing for our customers, our employees and our communities, then our business will be just fine."
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