Trump: Beware Electric Boats

First off, let me say that nobody is better than Chris Hayes when he’s really wound up about something. This is from last night. Just watch.

Gen. Mark Milley will be retired as head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff this Sunday. I’m hoping he will have a lot to say once he’s no longer active military.

On to Trump in Michigan. As expected, reporters found that people waiving “union members for Trump” and “auto workers for Trump” were neither union members nor auto workers.  They were just people who showed up (on invitation) and handed the signs by Trump’s staff. The fact that Trump spoke at a non-union plant at the invitation of the owner appears to have been well publicized throughout Michigan and everywhere in the Detroit media market, at least.

Some of the more bizarre Trump statements are drawing attention.

But the gist of the speech was that auto workers should just ignore their union and trust him instead. He refused to answer a question about whether he supported the 40 percent raise the UAW was seeking (they’ve just cut it to 30 percent, according to Bloomberg). Matt Steib at New York magazine:

Throughout the rally, Trump tried to frame himself as the pro-union candidate for killing the Trans-Pacific Partnership that had the potential to take auto-manufacturing jobs abroad. But the candidate who has railed against union protections for years wasn’t exactly supportive of the UAW’s demands to increase wages and improve benefits. Prior to his speech, he did not respond to a reporter’s questions about whether or not he backed the 40 percent raise the UAW is demanding.

At one point during a long diatribe against electric vehicles, he said, “I don’t care what you get in the next two weeks, or three weeks, or five weeks,” referring to the length of the strike. (According to Trump, it wouldn’t matter due to the Biden administration’s support of electric vehicles and the potential for the growing industry to undercut union jobs.) “I don’t think you’re picketing for the right thing,” he added.

And what would be the right thing? He practically begged his audience to get UAW leaders to endorse him. That ain’t gonna happen.  Trip Gabriel at the New York Times:

Mr. Trump repeatedly asked for the endorsement of the U.A.W. president, Shawn Fain — calling him “Shawn” — but did not back any of the union’s contract demands.

“Your head man, Shawn, he’s a good man,” Mr. Trump told the crowd, though it was unclear if there were more than a handful of U.A.W. members present. “But he’s got to endorse Trump.”

Mr. Fain, who appeared with Mr. Biden during his visit to the picket line, has withheld the union’s endorsement, saying it must be earned. But Mr. Fain has been clear that the U.A.W. would never support Mr. Trump, who pursued many anti-union policies in office. …

…“Get your union leaders to endorse me, and I’ll take care of the rest,” Mr. Trump said.

In other words, just trust Trump.

UAW leaders were all over the media trash-talking Trump yesterday. The Biden Administration also pushed back against Trump’s phony “concern” for workers, in television ads and in many statements released to the press. I think the best Trump can hope for from this visit is that maybe he didn’t lose too many voters. The people fool enough to believe in him still do. I can’t imagine he gained any support, though.  See also Josh Marshall.

As far as last night’s GOP debate was concerned, I did not watch. See Aaron Rupar, My expectations for the debate were low, but holy crap.