Donald Trump visited a non-union auto parts supplier store in Clinton Township, Michigan, on Wednesday, and downplayed the importance of the United Auto Workers and their contract negotiations.
Instead, TFG blamed the auto industry’s shift to EVs as a hit job and a suicide mission, perpetrated by the government’s promotion of zero-emissions standards.
“You can be loyal to American labor or you can be loyal to the environmental lunatics,” Trump said at one point. “But you can’t really be loyal to both. It’s one or the other.”
He told the crowd to reach out to Shawn Fain, president of the UAW, and tell him if the union backs Trump, Fain could take a vacation and they would better off than they ever were.
Questions remain about who Trump was speaking to at Drake Enterprises, and whether any UAW strikers were present.
The audience Wednesday was a mix of workers from the host company, Drake Enterprises, and UAW members and area politicians. Many in the crowd waved “Union Members for Trump” signs printed in the University of Michigan’s blue and gold colors. The audience also included Trump fans with no deeply vested interest in the strike who were there more for Trump than for the autoworkers.
“There are a few strikers here, yes,” said Brian Pannebecker, a former local autoworker who organizes an Auto Workers for Trump Facebook page and helped shore up attendees for the event. “I don’t know where they’re at. But there are several — a handful.”
One of the striking UAW members on hand, Scott Malefant, agreed. “I haven’t seen anybody yet,” Malefant, wearing a MAGA hat, said as he waited for Trump to arrive.
Malefant acknowledged that Biden was smart to attend the picket line, even though he wasn’t a big fan of the President. “…Any support we can get, we’ll take it.”
Asked whether Trump should have joined a picket line, Malefant said that he “wouldn’t want to see the guy get booed or anything.”