Former President Donald Trump is set to travel to Michigan next week to meet with striking autoworkers. This decision comes as he opts out of participating in the second Republican presidential debate, signaling an increased focus on the 2024 election against President Joe Biden. Trump currently holds a significant lead over his GOP rivals in primary polls.
In recent days, Trump has been actively supporting the striking autoworkers, positioning himself as sympathetic to their cause. He has also accused Biden of attempting to undermine the car industry by promoting electric cars and green energy policies.
The visit, scheduled for September 27, will reportedly include a primetime speech. While Trump will be engaging with autoworkers in Michigan, the other GOP candidates will gather at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California for the second primary debate.
During the previous debate in Milwaukee, Trump chose to participate in a pre-taped interview with Tucker Carlson, which was aired on the now-defunct social media platform previously known as Twitter.
Trump has consistently portrayed himself as a champion for the “forgotten men and women” of the working class. Throughout his 2016 campaign, he emphasized his commitment to revitalizing Rust Belt towns affected by the decline of mining and manufacturing industries. Earlier this year, he visited East Palestine, Ohio, which his aides considered a crucial moment in his campaign recovery following the midterm losses in 2020. These visits helped redirect his focus away from his previous election loss.
United Auto Workers and Detroit’s Big Three Resume Talks
On Monday, the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Detroit’s Big Three carmakers resumed talks with the aim of resolving a strike that has now entered its fourth day. According to Stellantis, the discussions were described as “constructive.” General Motors also confirmed that negotiations between the company and the UAW were ongoing.
Zero Credibility with Organized Labor
Dave Green, a UAW regional director in Ohio and Indiana, expressed his skepticism towards former President Trump’s credibility with organized labor. Green stated that Trump’s actions during his time in office have eroded his standing among labor unions. He firmly stated that the UAW would never endorse Trump, believing that his motives are purely self-serving and aimed at gaining votes.
Trump’s Perspective on the Strike
Trump’s viewpoint on the strike was shared in an interview where he expressed his concerns. Earlier in the summer, Trump was honored as the Man of the Decade by the Oakland County GOP in Michigan. When asked about the strike, he claimed that electric cars would be manufactured in China, resulting in a loss of jobs for auto workers. He further criticized the union leadership, asserting that they should endorse him.
In response to Trump’s comments, Ammar Moussa, a spokesperson for the Biden campaign, accused Trump of attempting to divert attention away from his own shortcomings. Moussa argued that Trump’s track record reveals a series of broken promises and failures in supporting American workers. Furthermore, Moussa highlighted Obama’s decision to bail out auto companies during the financial crisis, insinuating that Trump would have allowed these companies to go bankrupt.
Overall, discussions between the UAW and Detroit’s Big Three carmakers are ongoing as they work towards a resolution to end the strike. The divide between organized labor and former President Trump remains prominent, with both sides defending their respective positions.