Former President Donald Trump has decided to forgo the upcoming Republican primary debate scheduled for September 27 at the Reagan Library in California. Instead, he will be in Detroit, speaking to a crowd of more than 500 current and former union members, the Times reported.
The event comes on the heels of a significant labor strike involving thousands of United Auto Workers (UAW) members at three major plants in Detroit.
The Gateway Pundit reported that for the first time in the history of the 150,000-member United Auto Workers Union, members strike against the “Big 3” manufacturers that began at midnight last week after no deal was reached.
The “Big 3” include Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, the newly-formed merger of Fiat Chrysler and the PSA Group.
UAW President Shawn Fain told an audience on Facebook Live last night that the strike would target three assembly plants initially: a GM plant in Missouri, a Stellantis plant in Ohio, and a Ford plant in Michigan. This is the first time in all three manufacturers have been targeted at the same time and could have major impacts in vehicle manufacturing in an industry that has already been tight after the restrictive COVID lockdowns in 2020
Trump’s campaign confirmed the news on Monday, stating that the former president aims to “counterprogram” the second primary debate by speaking not only autoworkers but also plumbers, pipefitters and electricians, according to NBC News.
A campaign source noted that Trump wants to speak to a crowd of more than 500 current and former union members that will include not only autoworkers but also plumbers, pipefitters and electricians.
But the autoworkers’ union itself reacted sharply to the news of Trump’s latest campaign strategy.
“Every fiber of our union is being poured into fighting the billionaire class and an economy that enriches people like Donald Trump at the expense of workers,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in a statement shared with CNBC.
“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 expecting them to solve the problems of the working class,” Fain’s statement said.
Fain has previously said that a second Trump term in the White House would be a “disaster.”
This isn’t the first time Trump has opted out of a primary debate; he skipped the first one last month, choosing instead to sit for a pre-taped interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Trump’s statement posted to Truth Social, “New CBS POLL, just out, has me leading the field by “legendary” numbers. TRUMP 62%, 46 Points above DeSanctimonious (who is crashing like an ailing bird!), Ramaswamy 7%, Pence 5%, Scott 3%, Haley 2%, Sloppy Chris Christie 2%, “Aida” Hutchinson 1%. The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had, with Energy Independence, Strong Borders & Military, Biggest EVER Tax & Regulation Cuts, No Inflation, Strongest Economy in History, & much more. I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!”