Trump plans to address auto workers in Detroit during second GOP debate – The Washington Post

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Former President Donald Trump plans to deliver a speech to union workers on the day of the second debate in the Republican presidential primary, according to two advisers. to Trump involved in the planning who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The Republican frontrunner skipped the first debate in late August, choosing instead to record an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that aired at the same time as the debate.

While other Republican candidates are attending the Sept. 27 event in California, Trump instead plans to address more than 500 autoworkers, plumbers, electricians and pipefitters, the adviser said. The group will likely include workers from the United Auto Workers union, which is on strike against the big three automakers in the nation’s Rust Belt. The Trump adviser added that it was unclear whether the former president would make it to the strike line.

The New York Times was the first to report the Detroit speech.

Democrats urge Biden to join UAW picket line as Trump plans trip to Detroit

Trump’s campaign also created a radio ad, airing on sports-themed and rock stations in Detroit and Toledo, intended to portray him as being on the side of striking auto workers, the adviser said.

“All they ever wanted was to compete fairly on a global scale and get their fair share of the American dream,” says a narrator in the ad, which does not explicitly mention the strike. “Donald Trump calls them great Americans and has always supported them.”

Trump’s planned appearance in Detroit will put him in a state he captured in 2016, flipping Michigan after Democratic incumbent Barack Obama won in 2012. President Biden, however, turned the state blue in 2020, winning by more than 150,000 votes.

The expected the speech to the strikers is a complicated needle for him to spin, as his administration adopted policies hated by unions, weakened the National Labor Relations Board and approved legislation focused on corporate tax cuts. On Truth Social, Trump posted Friday that pushing to build electric cars is a “disaster for both the United Auto Workers and the American consumer.” He added: “If this happens, United Auto workers will be wiped out, along with every other auto worker in the United States. »

The former president also criticized UAW President Shawn Fain, saying Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Fain is letting the strikers down.

“Autoworkers are being betrayed by their leaders,” Trump said.

Biden, who presents himself as pro-union, expressed support for the strikers. On Friday, he called on General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, the parent company of Jeep and Chrysler, to improve their wage proposals.

During his presidency, Biden appointed labor allies to the National Labor Relations Board and federal judges. A 2021 law he supported gave workers more bargaining power.

But the UAW has so far withheld support from Biden, with Fain saying Sunday in an interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that the organization’s support is “going to be earned, not freely given.”

“We expect actions, not words,” he said.

Fain said he’s not a fan of Trump either.

Some Democratic lawmakers are pressuring Biden to join the picket line, fearing that Trump will make inroads with union workers — a significant faction of the Democratic base. The White House declined to say whether Biden plans to visit the picket line.

The UAW is demanding a 36 percent wage increase over four years, an end to a system in which new workers are paid less and the right to strike against proposed factory closings as Detroit transitions from gasoline-powered cars to electric vehicles. The Big Three automakers said that while they wanted to strike a fair contract, they already faced higher U.S. labor costs than their non-union rivals.

Jeanne Whalen contributed to this report.

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