Former president Donald Trump will not participate in the Sept. 27 debate in California. According to a source familiar with the preparations, he will instead travel to Detroit that day to join union autoworkers who are on strike and demanding improved contract terms from the Big Three automakers.
Trump will soon visit Detroit as part of his ongoing effort to position himself as a compelling alternative to President Biden, the current Democrat who received the UAW’s coveted endorsement in 2020. In that election, Biden also received a clear majority of votes from union households, which helped him win key states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, all of which Trump had won in 2016.
Although historically the UAW has supported Democratic candidates, the union has so far decided not to support Biden in his bid for re-election. The union’s new president, Shawn Fain, has stated that they need to learn more about him before they can give him their support.
A special political triangle between the union and the two leaders will be created by Trump’s visit.
After the UAW went on strike last week, Biden backed the union, saying that manufacturers needed to make more generous proposals to the UAW because they had not fairly shared the enormous profits they had been making in recent years.
“Auto companies have seen record profits, including in the last few years, because of the extraordinary skill and sacrifices of the UAW workers,” Biden said. “Those record profits have not been not been shared fairly in my view with those workers.”
Even though the UAW is holding Biden accountable, it is highly doubtful that the union will endorse Trump because Fain has repeatedly stated that another Trump presidency would be “a disaster.”
Fain’s response to Trump’s anticipated visit was blunt.
“We can’t keep electing billionaires and millionaires that don’t have any understanding what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to get by and expect them to solve the problems of the working class,” he continued.
Even still, many union autoworkers are registered to vote and, in swing areas like Michigan, Trump appearing for handshakes and photos may be just enticing enough to certain members of a disgruntled workforce.