Former President Trump will address Detroit auto workers during next week’s Republican primary debate, marking the second debate the former president will skip, according to multiple media outlets.
The New York Times, citing two Trump advisers familiar with the plans, reported that Trump plans to travel to Detroit next week to deliver a prime-time speech to current and former union members.
The president is scheduled to visit Sept. 27, when several of the Republican presidential candidates will gather at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., for the second GOP primary debate.
A source close to the Trump campaign confirmed to The Hill that the Times report was accurate.
Trump’s decision to travel to Detroit instead of the debate follows his signals in recent weeks that he does not intend to participate in any of the GOP primary debates, which are expected to take place once a month before the Republican convention next summer.
Trump skipped last month’s debate, opting instead to attend a pre-recorded interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Trump’s announced trip comes amid an ongoing battle between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the “big three” automakers – Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. Last week, the UAW launched a strike against the Big Three after ongoing negotiations failed and workers’ contracts expired.
The union is demanding wage increases, cost-of-living wage increases, a 32-hour work week with 40-hour pay, union representation for workers at new battery factories, and the restoration of traditional pensions to defined benefits for new hires who now receive only 401(k) pension plans and pension increases for retirees.
In an interview with NBC News published last week, Trump attacked UAW leaders but refused to take sides in contract negotiations.
“I stand with the greatness of our country…Autoworkers are being betrayed by their leaders, and their leaders should support Trump,” Trump said in a statement. Interview with NBC News which was held before UAW workers began their strike.
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