Trump voters 'don't care about facts,' says former Apple CEO John Sculley

Trump: 'I know nothing about white supremacists'
Trump: 'I know nothing about white supremacists'

The marketing genius behind the Pepsi Challenge and Apple's 1984 Super Bowl commercial says that Donald Trump is running a brilliant campaign.

John Sculley, who was famously CEO of Pepsi (PEP) in the 1980s and Apple (AAPL) until 1993, told CNNMoney he has been friendly with Trump for years. He lives close by Trump in Palm Beach, Florida, and he went to school with Trump at Wharton.

john sculley
John Sculley

Sculley, a Republican, says that he isn't necessarily endorsing Trump, but he admires his campaign.

"Trump is saying that he'll do all these things that seem outrageous -- but that he'll get things done," Sculley said. "That's very appealing to a disappearing middle class whose world isn't the same as it was years ago."

Sculley said that Trump, more than any other candidate, has tapped into the fact that people are completely fed up with politicians. He acknowledged that Trump has said some outlandish things, but he said that Trump is acutely aware of how his actions are affecting his chances of winning the presidential election.

"I think Donald Trump is a much smarter person than media is giving him credit for," Sculley said. "He makes outrageous statements that aren't backed up by facts, but the people who are enamored with him don't care about facts."

The biggest issue that Trump supporters care about is that politicians have failed them in the past, Sculley argued. They think Trump is going to represent a change from the political establishment.

That's why Trump has such cross-party appeal, Sculley said. Trump is attracting people from a diverse background, including a large group of registered Democrats, according to a New York Times study.

"The 2016 presidential election is sending a big message to political parties, particularly to the Republican party, that parties are irrelevant," Sculley said. "Social media has made it possible."

A spokeswoman for Trump's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Related: John Sculley says he wished he had hired Jobs back

In his new book, "Moonshot," Sculley explains a power shift that's taking place between established brands and customers. With the growing use of the cloud, social media and smartphones, ordinary people are gaining power in the sphere of influence.

Customers are listening to customers just as much -- if not more more -- than they're listening to big brands' marketing campaigns, Sculley said.

That's why big retailers like Walmart (WMT) have lost ground to Amazon (AMZN), where customer reviews are central to the buying process.

Similarly, Sculley says the political establishment is losing control of its own party.

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