Former President Donald Trump will not participate in next week’s second Republican presidential primary debate and will instead hold a rally with striking autoworkers and other skilled trades workers.
Trump, 77, plans to hold the event, which will include a prime-time speech, in Detroit on September 27 – the same evening his Republican rivals will gather in California at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum to the second primary debate. , a source close to the former president’s plans told the Post on Monday.
The move signals that Trump, who holds a nearly 44-point lead over his closest Republican primary opponent, is already looking beyond the Republican primaries and focusing his attention on defeating President Biden in 2024, in part by courting members of unions in one of the states he has chosen. lost to the 80-year-old incumbent in 2020.
Next week’s rally won’t just be about autoworkers. The Trump campaign plans to fill the room with more than 500 tradespeople, including plumbers, pipefitters and electricians, The New York Times first reported Monday.
Trump blasted Biden over the weekend, accusing him of failing to support the interests of American auto workers by promoting electric vehicles.
“The United Auto Workers are being sold on this electric car scam,” Trump wrote in Truth Social Sunday. “They will be made in China, under Crooked Joe’s CHINA FIRST POLICY.”
“AUTOMOTIVE WORKERS, VOTE FOR TRUMP – I WILL MAKE YOU VICTORIOUS AND RICH.” IF YOUR “LEADERS” DO NOT SUPPORT ME, VOTE TO DELIVER THEM NOW. WITH THE DEMOCRATS AND CROOKED JOE TAKEN THINGS YOU WILL BE JOBLESS AND SUPPORT FREE WITHIN 4 YEARS. Remember, Biden is a crook who was paid millions of dollars by China and others. He’s a Manchurian candidate!!! added the former president.
The strike against Detroit’s Big Three automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis — entered its fourth day Monday, with about 13,000 workers represented by the United Auto Workers union refusing to work at three plants unless they offers them better salaries and benefits.
The UAW union notably declined to support Biden in the spring, with President Shawn Fain expressing serious concerns about his administration’s preference for electric vehicles.
But Fain also said a second Trump presidency would be a “disaster.”
Biden did not recommend the terms of a deal – the UAW demands a 40% wage increase for workers and a 32-hour work week – but he supported the strike and blasted ‘record profits’ which, according to him, the car manufacturers have not “shared fairly”. » with the workers.
Trump lost Michigan to Biden by less than 3 percentage points in 2020 after beating Hillary Clinton in the Great Lakes state by less than 1 percentage point.
The former president skipped the first GOP presidential debate in Milwaukee last month, choosing instead to do an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson on X – the social media platform formerly known as Twitter – which was broadcast at the same time as the candidates took the stage. .