Former President Donald Trump has announced that he will not be attending the second Republican presidential primary debate next week. Instead, he plans to hold a rally in Detroit on September 27th, the same night as the debate. According to a source familiar with Trump's plans, the rally will be focused on striking autoworkers and other skilled tradesmen.
The decision to skip the debate and hold the rally indicates that Trump is already looking ahead to the 2024 election and is focused on defeating President Biden. By targeting union members in Michigan, a state he lost to Biden in 2020, Trump is hoping to gain support and build momentum for his campaign.
The rally will not only be for autoworkers, but will also include over 500 tradesmen such as plumbers, pipe-fitters, and electricians, according to the New York Times. Trump's campaign is aiming to pack the room with these workers in an effort to show his support for the skilled trades and to highlight his opposition to Biden's promotion of electric vehicles.
In fact, Trump has been openly critical of Biden's support for electric vehicles, accusing him of not supporting the interests of American autoworkers. On his social media platform, Truth Social, Trump wrote, "The United Autoworkers are being sold down the 'drain' with this all Electric Car SCAM. They'll be made in China, under Crooked Joe's CHINA FIRST POLICY." He has called on autoworkers to vote for him, claiming that he will make them victorious and rich.
The rally comes as the strike against Detroit's Big Three automakers - Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis - enters its fourth day. Around 13,000 workers represented by the United Auto Workers union are refusing to work at three factories until they are offered better wages and benefits. The union notably did not endorse Biden in the spring, expressing concerns about his support for electric vehicles. However, the union's president, Shawn Fain, has also criticized a second Trump presidency, calling it a "disaster."
Biden has endorsed the strike and has criticized automakers for not sharing their record profits with workers. While he has not recommended specific terms for a deal, the UAW is demanding a 40% pay raise for workers and a 32-hour work week.
Michigan is a critical state for both parties, as Trump narrowly won it in 2016, but Biden carried it in 2020. Trump's campaign has already produced a radio ad targeting union workers and men in Detroit and Toledo, Ohio. The ad praises Trump for supporting autoworkers and criticizes Biden's support for electric vehicles.
Overall, Trump's decision to skip the debate and hold a rally with striking autoworkers and other tradesmen shows his focus on the 2024 election and his determination to gain support from union members in Michigan. By highlighting his opposition to electric vehicles and his support for the skilled trades, Trump hopes to appeal to working-class voters and build momentum for a potential rematch with President Biden.
themes: Detroit Donald Trump Ohio China Michigan New York (state)