Last updated: 05:01 PM ET, Mon October 24 2016

Virgin's Richard Branson Weighs in on US Elections

Impacting Travel | Gabe Zaldivar | October 24, 2016

Virgin's Richard Branson Weighs in on US Elections

PHOTO: Virgin’s Richard Branson in an image taken in June 2012. (Photo courtesy Flickr/UN Climate Change)

The Internet seems to be raining anecdotes about various run-ins people have had with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Recently, it was Richard Branson’s turn to share an unflattering story.

Dropped in amid nearly 12 allegations of sexual impropriety by Trump is a story from Virgin Group’s founder that colors the 70-year-old nominee as someone driven by an unforgiving nature that Branson believes is a quality one wouldn’t want in the President of the United States.

In a column entitled “Meeting Donald Trump,” Branson recalls sitting down with Trump — a person whom he had never met previously — for what became an odd encounter centered on those people who dared not lend any monetary help to Trump who was, at the time, enduring bankruptcy issues.

Branson writes on that unforgettable lunch meeting: “Even before the starters arrived he began telling me about how he had asked a number of people for help after his latest bankruptcy and how five of them were unwilling to help. He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people.”

Branson then proceeded to offer some friendly advice, which is what many might do when the person on the other end of the table is ranting about dedicating precious moments to bringing down other individuals.

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Branson then recalls: “He didn’t speak about anything else and I found it very bizarre. I told him I didn’t think it was the best way of spending his life. I said it was going to eat him up, and do more damage to him than them.”

Branson states he left the lunch meeting without becoming the sixth person who had to decline an offer to help the then financially strapped Trump.

Branson concludes the commentary with offering a stark contrast in motivating factors between Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Branson writes: “Later, I remember contrasting the lunch with a one-to-one lunch I shared with Hillary Clinton. Here we talked about education reform, the war on drugs, women’s rights, conflicts around the globe and the death penalty. She was a good listener as well as an eloquent speaker.”

It’s obvious at this point that Branson champions Clinton over her Republican rival, but the founder of Virgin Group concludes with a concise summary of what he sees as two completely opposite views of the world and, most importantly, disparate driving forces.

Branson states: “As she understands well, the President of the United States needs to understand and be engaged with wider world issues, rather than be consumed by petty personal quarrels.”

Now this is hardly the only Trump travel story of note. Earlier this month, TravelPulse’s Patrick Clarke looked a bit closer at the effect Trump’s candidacy has had on Trump’s new hotel in Washington D.C.

Clarke finds that the travel sector has definitely reacted to Trump’s oft-times polarizing campaign: “Earlier this month, analysis from Foursquare found that foot traffic at Trump-branded hotels, casinos and golf clubs declined by approximately 16 percent in September 2016 compared to the same month last year.”

The election looms just a fortnight from now. Some continue to back Trump as who they believe to be an agent of change. Others, like Branson, view the nominee as a divisive figure fueled on a platform of ego and retribution.

One of the biggest names in the travel industry has made it very clear who he backs in the election and has offered some intriguing reasons as to why.

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