- Former President Donald Trump plans to travel to Detroit to deliver a speech to current and former union members instead of attending next week’s Republican primary debate.
- The former president’s travel plan was released just days after thousands of members of the United Auto Workers went on strike at three major factories after the union and Detroit automakers failed to come to an agreement.
Former U.S. President and 2024 presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the 2023 Concerned Women for America (CWA) Summit in Washington, DC, September 15, 2023.
Mandel Ngan | Afp | Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump plans to travel to Detroit next week to speak with current and former union members instead of attending the Republican primary debate, his campaign told CNBC on Monday.
A campaign spokesperson confirmed a New York Times report that Trump, clearly ahead in the race for the 2024 Republican nomination, intends to counterschedule the second primary debate as his rivals vie to catch up with his lead.
The former president’s travel plans were revealed just days after thousands of United Auto Workers members went on strike at three major factories after the union and Detroit automakers failed to come to an agreement.
A campaign source noted that Trump wanted to address a crowd of more than 500 current and former union members, including not only autoworkers but also plumbers, pipefitters and electricians.
But the auto workers union itself reacted sharply to news of Trump’s latest campaign strategy.
“Every fiber of our union is invested in fighting the billionaire class and an economy that enriches people like Donald Trump at the expense of working people,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in a statement shared with CNBC.
“We cannot continue to elect billionaires and millionaires who have no understanding of what it means to live paycheck to paycheck and are struggling to get by and expected to solve the problems. problems of the working class,” Fain’s statement said.
Trump’s planned absence from the next debate, scheduled for September 27 at the Reagan Library in California, was not a major surprise. He skipped the first debate of the Republican primary last month, opting instead to watch a pre-recorded interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that aired just as the debate began.
The plan to undermine the second debate shows Trump once again ignoring his Republican rivals and positioning himself for a general election fight against incumbent President Joe Biden, a staunch defender of American unions.
In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that aired Sunday, Trump accused the UAW leadership of failing its members, while urging the union to support him.
“Autoworkers are being betrayed by their leaders, and their leaders should support Trump,” Trump told NBC’s Kristen Welker.
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