Laura Ingraham Warns Coca-Cola's CEO 'Patriots Will Choose Another Beverage'

Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham has attacked the CEO of Coca-Cola, James Quincey, after he criticized a new voting law passed in Georgia, where the drinks giant is headquartered.

Businesses in the Peach State had been facing pressure to condemn the controversial SB 202 legislation passed in the GOP-majority state legislature and signed by Governor Brian Kemp.

The bill, which imposes voter ID requirements and limits drop boxes, is under fire from Democrats. They say it simply plays on discredited claims of election fraud and will disenfranchise Black voters.

Quincey told CNBC that the legislation was "unacceptable" and that the "legislation is wrong and needed to be remedied."

"It does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia around broad access to voting, around voting convenience, about ensuring election integrity," he added.

EXCLUSIVE: Coca-Cola CEO says the restrictive Georgia voting law is " is a step backward..."

Quincey also says "this legislation is wrong, and needs to be remedied, and we will continue to advocate for it both in private and in now even more clearly in public"

— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) March 31, 2021

But Ingraham tweeted the interview clip and commented that there could be commercial ramifications for the company's stance.

"Patriots will choose another beverage. Big mistake by @CocaCola. Don't poke the bear," she wrote.

Quincey's comments came after opponents of the law change had called for boycotts of Georgia-based businesses such as Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines and Home Depot, which had been accused of not doing enough to prevent the measure.

When Quincey was asked on CNBC why his company had not made more of a public show of opposition to the bill earlier, he said: "We have always opposed this legislation" and that "many things are private without having to take a public stand."

"So we are coming out even more clearly saying that this is wrong and it needs to change," he added.

When contacted for comment, Coca-Cola referred Newsweek to a media statement by Quincey on Thursday in which he said the company backed supporting federal legislation "that protects voting access and addresses voter suppression across the country."

"We all have a duty to protect everyone's right to vote, and we will continue to stand up for what is right in Georgia and across the U.S.," the statement added.

Facing criticism over their relative silence during the passage of the law, prominent companies in Georgia have this week condemned the law President Joe Biden described as an "atrocity" and "Jim Crow in the 21st century."

Delta, Georgia's largest employer, which had only made general statements backing voting rights, condemned the bill on Wednesday as "unacceptable."

"I need to make it crystal clear that the final bill is unacceptable and does not match Delta's values," the airline's CEO Ed Bastian said.

This public opposition follows a letter signed by Ken Frazier, CEO of Merck, and 71 other Black executives who called for corporate leaders to condemn the legislation they say is a GOP attempt to restrict Black American voters.

Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation and a board member at Ralph Lauren, Pepsi and Square, told The New York Times: "It is regrettable that the sense of urgency came after the legislation was passed and signed into law."

Coca Cola CEO James Quincey
Coca Cola CEO James Quincey pictured in Lausanne, on June 24, 2019. The company is one of Georgia's largest and he has condemned a new voting law there. FABRICE COFFRINI/Getty Images

This story has been updated with a response to Newsweek from Coca-Cola.