Former President Donald Trump sought to win over blue-collar autoworkers during a campaign rally in Michigan. He criticized electric vehicles (EVs) and warned of the potential downfall of the U.S. auto industry due to Democratic policies. Trump urged United Auto Workers (UAW) members to convince their union leaders to endorse him. He expressed support for consumer choice between EVs and traditional gasoline and diesel vehicles but opposed forcing consumers to purchase EVs. Trump’s visit coincided with ongoing strikes by UAW members against General Motors, Ford Motor, and Stellantis, with the union threatening further strikes without progress in contract negotiations. UAW President Shawn Fain criticized Trump’s visit to Michigan, citing his track record with automotive unions and the choice of a nonunion company for the rally.
During the rally, Trump emphasized his commitment to saving the auto industry and mocked President Joe Biden’s push for EVs. He also criticized the auto industry’s reliance on China for battery and component supplies. Trump’s remarks aimed to appeal to rank-and-file union members, despite UAW leadership withholding their reendorsement of Biden due to concerns about EVs. While Fain joined Biden on a UAW picket line, he did not officially endorse the president for the upcoming election. Trump’s support among autoworkers stems from his past trade policies and stance on EV mandates. The former president’s visit sought to sway UAW members and secure their endorsement.
Overall, Trump’s rally targeted blue-collar autoworkers by highlighting his opposition to EVs and warning of the potential downfall of the U.S. auto industry under Democratic policies. Despite criticisms from UAW leadership, Trump aimed to win support from rank-and-file union members by emphasizing his commitment to saving the industry and offering consumer choice. The rally took place amid ongoing strikes by UAW members, adding urgency to the debate around the future of the auto industry. Trump’s visit sought to position himself as the candidate who can protect autoworkers’ jobs and address their concerns about EV mandates and the industry’s reliance on foreign suppliers.