In the remarks posted by Nicklaus, who has supported Trump in the past, he wrote, “I know we are only a few days from Nov. 3 and Election Day, but I am certain many of you have not yet made up your minds. But if we want to continue to have the opportunity to pursue the American Dream, and not evolve into a socialist America and have the government run your life, then I strongly recommend you consider Donald J. Trump for another 4 years.”
Nicklaus, 80, claimed that that Trump “has been more diverse than any President I have seen and has tried to help people from all walks of life — equally.”
The 18-time major winner added that he has told Trump personally that the way he “says or tweets some things” doesn’t always go over well, but Nicklaus declared: “This is not a personality contest; it’s about patriotism, policies and the people they impact. His love for America and its citizens, and putting his country first, has come through loud and clear. How he has said it has not been important to me. What has been important are his actions. Now, you have the opportunity to take action.”
Nicklaus did not mention the coronavirus pandemic, during which both he and Trump have contracted the illness and recovered. He saluted the president for having “delivered on his promises.”
“Jack, this is a Great Honor,” wrote Trump while sharing Nicklaus’s post. “Thank you!”
Nicklaus and the golf-loving president haven’t just played rounds together several times, they have a professional relationship, with Nicklaus having designed courses at Trump-owned properties. In 2019, Politico reported that Trump “personally directed” the Department of Health and Human Services to earmark $20 million in its budget for a pediatric initiative at a Miami children’s hospital named for Nicklaus.
In 2016, while Trump was running for the presidency, Nicklaus said, “I like what Donald has done. I like that he’s turning America upside down. He’s awakening the country. We need a lot of that.”
After Trump was elected, Nicklaus said he would attend the inauguration, and a database maintained by the Federal Election Commission shows financial contributions from Nicklaus to Trump, as well as to a number of other Republican campaign organizations over a number of years.
The president returned the compliments in 2017, in a Golf Channel series. “People like Jack, they have a desire to win,” Trump said of Nicklaus at the time. “They never give up, they never quit. He’s a man that’s led a truly exemplary life; his family, his work ethic, his championship status. He’s a very exceptional man.”
Among those taking exception to Nicklaus’s post Wednesday was Jason Collins, a former NBA player who in 2013 became the first active male athlete in a major U.S. professional sports league to come out as gay.
“So you’re cool with a racist leading our country,” Collins tweeted at Nicklaus. “The same guy who couldn’t denounce white supremacy. The same guy who bragged about grabbing women by the ‘you know what.’ The same guy who … nevermind. You are who you are. Got it. Your privilege must be nice.”
Former MMA fighter Nathan Quarry asked Nicklaus to “list the ways America is better now than when he took office.” Quarry added, “You may not need social security or Medicare but many people do. And your desire to end those socialist programs says it all.”
Golfing Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez, however, thanked Nicklaus on Thursday for the post. “I have only been around President Trump before he was President when he visited the @LPGA tour. I agree with your heartfelt message,” she tweeted. “He has a big heart and I know he loves this country!”
Cutler, as with Nicklaus, has praised Trump in the past. In November 2016, while Cutler was in his final season as the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears, he said he was “happy” with the result of the just-completed election.
“I’ve supported Trump for a while,” he said then. “I’m not going to dive into it. I know it’s a sensitive issue. I like where it’s going.”