Donald Trump said he is considering boycotting Starbucks after the company sparked controversy by releasing plain red holiday cups with no Christmas patterns.
The Republican presidential candidate told a crowd in Illinois on Nov. 9, according to CNN:
"I have one of the most successful Starbucks, in Trump Tower. Maybe we should boycott Starbucks? I don't know. Seriously, I don't care. That's the end of that lease, but who cares? If I become president, we're all going to be saying Merry Christmas again, that I can tell you. That I can tell you."
As the next GOP debate draws near on Nov. 10, Trump continues to appeal to evangelical Christians who comprise a significant voting demographic in states like Iowa and South Carolina, as he contends with Ben Carson, the other Republican front runner and a favorite among the far right.
"I guarantee if I become president, we're going to be saying 'Merry Christmas' at every store," Trump said during an October campaign rally.
This holiday season, Starbucks explained that they were looking to convey "simplicity and quietness" in their cup design to show that the franchise coffee shops are a "sanctuary" for all during the holidays, reports KOMO News. The company has continued selling their usual Christmas Blend of coffee this year, but some religious conservatives believe that Starbucks has joined the "war on Christmas."
To fight back, a group on social media, led by former TV and radio evangelist turned internet personality Joshua Feuerstein has started visiting the stores and asking baristas to write "Merry Christmas" on their cups instead of their names, CNBC reports.
"Starbucks removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus," Feuerstein wrote on Facebook, according to CNBC.
However, not everyone is outraged by the cup's bold new looks. Marketing consultant Laura Ries thinks the outrage has more to do with aesthetics.
"Over the years, they had some whimsical holiday designs, and that's what people got accustomed to seeing," she told KOMO News. "They chose a modernistic, blank, stark look to the cup that was such a departure it got people anxious."