former president Donald Trump He will travel to the battleground state of Michigan next week to meet with striking autoworkers rather than participate in the second Republican presidential debate, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Trump, who also skipped last month’s first debate, has said he has focused on 2024 election against the president Joe Biden Because he maintains a huge lead over his Republican opponents in the primary. He has been a vocal supporter of the strike in recent days, portraying himself as sympathetic to workers and accusing Biden of trying to destroy the auto industry by expanding electric vehicles and other green energy policies.

The visit will also include a prime-time speech, according to a Sept. 27 itinerary first reported by The New York Times, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity before the plans became public.

On this day, others in the Republican field will gather at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., for a session of the cycle. second primary debate.

Last month, as his Republican rivals gathered in Milwaukee, Trump participated in a prerecorded interview with Tucker Carlson, which was held on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter during the first hour of the debate. broadcast.

Trump has long sought to portray himself as a champion of the “forgotten men and women” of the working class and spent much of the 2016 campaign campaigning in Rust Belt towns that are suffering from mining and manufacturing transfer.Earlier this year, he Visit East Palestine, Ohio, After the train derailed, a visiting aide believes his campaign is at a critical juncture as he struggles to recover from midterm election losses and try to shift his focus away from his 2020 defeats.

Biden campaign spokesman Amal Moussa said Monday: “Donald Trump will go to Michigan next week and lie to Michigan workers and pretend that he hasn’t betrayed them at every turn throughout his failed presidency. Trump Instead of standing with workers, he cut taxes for the super-rich while car companies closed their doors and shipped American jobs overseas.” Moussa believes Trump will let car companies go bankrupt during the financial crisis instead Bail them out like President Barack Obama did in 2009.

The UAW and Detroit’s Big Three automakers resumed talks on Monday aimed at ending the strike It’s already the fourth day. Strantis described the discussion as “constructive.” A GM spokesman said negotiations were continuing between the company and representatives from the United Auto Workers union.

Dave Green, UAW regional director for Ohio and Indiana, said the former president’s actions while in office now give him zero credibility with labor organizations, adding that he doesn’t think the UAW will support Trump.

“His only purpose is to try to get votes for himself. And also to use political rhetoric to divide our members,” Green told The Associated Press on Monday.

trump card Went to Michigan earlier this summer, The Oakland County Republican Party named him Man of the Decade. Asked about the strike in an interview aired Sunday, he told NBC News that “autoworkers will not have any jobs” because “electric cars will automatically be made in China.”

“Auto workers are being betrayed by their leadership, and their leadership should support Trump,” he added.

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