Former President Donald Trump used a speech in the Detroit suburbs to criticize President Biden, Democrats, and the big three automakers over electric cars. Speaking at a non-union plant, Trump praised auto workers and waved “Unions for Trump” signs. He expressed his support for the auto workers who make cars “that are going to go far” and criticized automakers for investing in electric cars which he called “stupid or gutless” due to their limited range and high cost. Trump also attacked Biden, accusing him of assassinating the auto industry and closing factories in Michigan.
Trump specifically addressed the United Auto Workers (UAW) union members who were striking in 20 states. He called for endorsement from UAW and other union leaders, even though they tend to endorse Democrats. Trump’s visit to the Detroit area preceded Biden’s visit, which the former president pointed out in his speech. UAW leader Shawn Fain had previously expressed his negative views towards Trump, stating that he serves the billionaire class and lacks care for workers. This exchange reflects the ongoing battle for support from union workers in the presidential race.
Trump’s criticism of Biden’s support for electric vehicles aligns with his longstanding opposition to environmental policies. He highlighted his own efforts to prioritize fossil-fuel-powered cars and his belief that Biden’s policies would lead to the loss of manufacturing jobs. Despite not participating in the GOP presidential debate, Trump’s poll numbers have remained strong, and he continues to outperform his Republican rivals. Some Republican candidates, like Ron DeSantis, have called for Trump’s participation in debates to allow voters to hear from all candidates and evaluate their positions.
Overall, the speech showcased Trump’s ongoing rhetoric against Democrats and the progressive shift towards electric vehicles. His focus on union workers and the auto industry highlighted his political strategy to appeal to blue-collar workers. Meanwhile, Trump’s absence from the GOP debate did not seem to affect his popularity among Republican voters.