Trump promis­es boom­ing econ­o­my and seeks UAW endorse­ment in Michi­gan

Trump promises booming economy and seeks UAW endorsement in Michigan

For­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump promised a boom­ing econ­o­my if returned to office and asked repeat­ed­ly for a union endorse­ment in a Michi­gan cam­paign speech.
Speak­ing before and then oppo­site the sec­ond GOP pres­i­den­tial debate, Trump made the case for a long-shot endorse­ment from the Unit­ed Auto Work­ers, a union that is on strike.
“Do me a favor. Just get your union guys, your lead­ers to endorse me,” Trump said at one point, though he asked sev­er­al times. “I’ll take care of the rest.”

For­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump speaks in Clin­ton Town­ship, Mich., Wednes­day, Sept. 27, 2023.
Mike Mulholland/AP

Trump skipped the Repub­li­can debate in favor of his own stage at Drake Enter­pris­es in Clin­ton Town­ship, Michi­gan, hop­ing to draw view­ers away from the sev­en con­tenders duk­ing it out across the coun­try in Simi Val­ley, Cal­i­for­nia.
The hour­long speech focused heav­i­ly on the econ­o­my, fil­tered through the cur­rent UAW strike and the impact elec­tric vehi­cles could have on indus­tri­al work­ers.
“[Elec­tric vehi­cles] are built specif­i­cal­ly for peo­ple who want to take a very short trip,” Trump said. “They say the hap­pi­est day when you buy an elec­tric car is the first 10 min­utes you’re dri­ving it. And then after that, pan­ic sets in because you’re wor­ried, ‘Where the hell am I going to get a charge to keep this thing going?’ ”
Peo­ple in the audi­ence hoist­ed “Union Mem­bers for Trump” signs.
Though Trump is unlike­ly to get a UAW endorse­ment — the union’s pres­i­dent, Shawn Fain, has said anoth­er Trump term would be a “dis­as­ter” — he has his­tor­i­cal­ly pulled in a lot of sup­port from rank-and-file union mem­bers.
Detroit-based UAW is one of the few unions yet to endorse Pres­i­dent Joe Biden, most­ly due to a dis­pute over elec­tric vehi­cles. The Biden admin­is­tra­tion is aggres­sive­ly push­ing a tran­si­tion to EVs and includ­ed elec­tric car sub­si­dies in the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act.
UAW wor­ries that EVs will mean few­er jobs because the cars require few­er parts, and Trump warned that the tran­si­tion would not be suc­cess­ful in any case.
“The auto indus­try is being assas­si­nat­ed,” Trump said. “It’s a hit job on Michi­gan and on Detroit. … All of these cars will be man­u­fac­tured in for­eign lands that you could­n’t care less about.”
Michi­gan is a bat­tle­ground state that Trump nar­row­ly won in 2016 and nar­row­ly lost in 2020, and both par­ties are focus­ing heav­i­ly on the state for 2024. Biden briefly cam­paigned in Michi­gan on Tues­day by vis­it­ing a UAW pick­et line.

Trump’s speech veered into sev­er­al dif­fer­ent pol­i­cy areas, though the econ­o­my was the clear cen­tral focus through­out.
“I stood up to the peo­ple that hate you,” Trump told the crowd. “They hate you! Or maybe they hate our coun­try.”
He bragged about rene­go­ti­at­ing trade deals, impos­ing tar­iffs on Chi­na, and pre­sid­ing over a strong econ­o­my dur­ing his first term.
“My great­est unsung achieve­ment, I kept Chi­nese cars out of Amer­i­ca,” Trump said to cheers. “UAW, is that OK? … If they took [Chi­nese tar­iffs] off, you’d be out of busi­ness right away.”
On a relat­ed note, he bragged that he would restore drilling for Amer­i­can oil, say­ing the coun­try has enough gaso­line to last anoth­er 500 years, all with­out dam­ag­ing the envi­ron­ment.
“A few years ago, we were ener­gy inde­pen­dent. Now we’re beg­ging coun­tries to give us gaso­line,” Trump said. “Venezue­la’s get­ting rich. We’re refin­ing their tar.”
The crowd broke out into a “Trump! Trump! Trump!” cheer at one point as Trump won­dered aloud if he was vis­it­ing one of his famous ral­lies.
Biden fea­tured in the speech as well. Trump said the Demo­c­ra­t­ic incum­bent can’t find his way off of a stage and puts ille­gal aliens and “envi­ron­men­tal lunatics” first. The four indict­ments against Trump were hand­ed down by “the forces of evil,” he claimed, and Trump said omi­nous­ly that such behav­ior “works both ways” when a new pres­i­dent takes office.
Trump promised to reverse Biden’s elec­tric vehi­cle man­date on day one and said he’d make the Unit­ed States ener­gy inde­pen­dent again.
“My mes­sage to you tonight is that Michi­gan’s abuse under Joe Biden will end, and I will take you to new heights you’ve nev­er dreamed of before,” Trump said. “Nev­er even dreamed of.”