Former President Donald Trump will skip next week’s second Republican presidential primary debate and instead hold a rally with striking autoworkers and other skilled tradespeople.
Trump, 77, plans to hold the event, which will include a prime-time speech, in Detroit on Sept. 27, the same night his Republican rivals will gather in California at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum for the second primary debate. , a source familiar with the former president’s plans told The Post on Monday.
The move indicates that Trump, who has a nearly 44-point lead over his closest opponent in the Republican primary, is already looking beyond the Republican primary and turning his attention to defeating President Biden in 2024, in part by courting union members in one of the states that lost to the 80-year-old incumbent in 2020.
Trump addresses the Pray Vote Stand Summit, hosted by the Family Research Council in Washington on September 15, 2023.REUTERS
Next week’s rally won’t just be for autoworkers. The Trump campaign plans to fill the room with more than 500 tradespeople, including plumbers, pipe fitters and electricians, the New York Times first reported on Monday.
Trump criticized Biden over the weekend, accusing him of failing to support the interests of American auto workers by promoting electric vehicles.
“The United Autoworkers are being sold down the drain with this electric car SCAM,” Trump wrote on Truth Social Sunday. “They will be made in China, per Crooked Joe’s CHINA FIRST POLICY.”
Members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union march through the streets of downtown Detroit following a demonstration on the first day of the UAW strike in Detroit, Michigan, on September 15, 2023.AFP via Getty Images
“AUTO WORKERS, VOTE FOR TRUMP – I WILL MAKE YOU VICTORIOUS AND RICH. IF YOUR ‘LEADERS’ DO NOT BACK ME, VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE, NOW. WITH DEMOCRATS AND CROOKED JOE MAKING PROVISIONS, YOU WILL BE LEFT WITHOUT A JOB AND WITHOUT MONEY WITHIN 4 YEARS. REMEMBER, BIDEN IS A THIEF WHO HAS BEEN PAID MILLIONS OF DOLLARS BY CHINA AND OTHERS. He is a Manchurian candidate!!!” added the former president.
The strike against Detroit’s big three automakers (Ford, General Motors and Stellantis) entered its fourth day on Monday, with about 13,000 combined workers represented by the United Auto Workers union refusing to work at three factories unless they are offer them better salaries and benefits.
The UAW carries out a strike against Ford, Stellantis and General Motors.AP
Notably, the UAW union refused to endorse Biden in the spring, and President Shawn Fain raised serious concerns about his administration’s preference for electric vehicles.
But Fain has also claimed that a second Trump presidency would be a “disaster.”
Biden has not recommended terms for a deal (the UAW is demanding a 40% pay increase for workers and a 32-hour work week), but he has backed the strike and criticized the “record profits” he says will automakers have not “shared fairly.” ”with the workers.
Trump lost Michigan to Biden by less than 3 percentage points in 2020 after previously defeating Hillary Clinton in the Great Lake State by less than 1 percentage point.
The former president skipped the first Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee last month, opting to do an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, which aired at the same time as The candidates took the stage. .