Don­ald Trump will skip sec­ond GOP debate to speak to union mem­bers

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For­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump plans to skip the next GOP debate at the Ronald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Library in Cal­i­for­nia and instead will trav­el to Michi­gan, a Trump advi­sor con­firmed to the Wash­ing­ton Exam­in­er.
Trump will address more than 500 work­ers, includ­ing those at auto fac­to­ries, the New York Times first report­ed. The vis­it comes as Trump seeks to appeal to rank-and-file Unit­ed Auto Work­ers mem­bers who are on strike and as he seeks to shift blame Pres­i­dent Joe Biden for push­ing a green elec­tric vehi­cle agen­da.
The next debate takes place on Sept. 27, and it is the sec­ond of three debates. It also marks the sec­ond time that the for­mer pres­i­dent has passed on par­tic­i­pat­ing in a debate, despite hav­ing enough sup­port to qual­i­fy. Trump chose to skip the first debate and do an inter­view with for­mer Fox News host Tuck­er Carl­son, which aired at the same time.
The deci­sion to tar­get Biden over the strike shows his focus on the pres­i­dent as his main chal­lenge in the 2024 elec­tions instead of the oth­er Repub­li­can can­di­dates who are trail­ing him by large amounts. With the strike, Trump is also putting a focus on Michi­gan, which he won in 2016 but lost in 2020. The state leans blue, but it is con­sid­ered essen­tial for Democ­rats to win next year.
“I’m on the side of mak­ing our coun­try great,” Trump told NBC News last week. “The auto work­ers are being sold down the riv­er by their lead­er­ship, and …