Former President Donald Trump visited the Detroit suburbs while the second GOP presidential debate took place in Simi Valley, California. Trump spoke at an auto parts manufacturer and supplier in Michigan, a non-union plant, while United Auto Workers union members were striking in 20 states, including Michigan. Trump is expected to continue criticizing President Biden’s record on auto manufacturing and workers. The Biden campaign released a new ad in Michigan attacking Trump as anti-union.
The Democratic National Committee has erected anti-Trump billboards in Detroit ahead of his visit, and the Biden campaign released an ad highlighting Trump’s tax breaks for the wealthy while auto plants closed in Michigan. The Trump campaign dismissed Biden’s visit as a “PR stunt,” maintaining that Trump is the only candidate who can supercharge the economy, secure the border, and protect communities. Trump has also criticized Biden’s support for electric vehicles and has taken steps to promote EVs and reduce emissions.
Meanwhile, several Republican challengers, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Gov. Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Gov. Chris Christie, and Sen. Tim Scott, participated in the second GOP debate at the Reagan Library. Despite Trump’s absence from the debates, he still holds a significant lead in the polls against his Republican challengers. DeSantis expressed the belief that Trump should participate in the debates to give voters the opportunity to hear from all the candidates.