Trump was hosted by Drake Enterprises in Clinton Township, Michigan, to speak with workers amid the ongoing United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the “Big Three” car manufacturers in the United States. Drake auto supplier, which is roughly 25 miles north of Detroit, is not a union plant.
During his speech, Trump targeted the Biden administration’s push toward electric vehicles (EVs) and reiterated that greener policies aimed at lowering emissions would end up destroying the automobile industry. He also claimed that Biden “is back like a wretched old vulture trying to finish off his prey.”
“I wonder if he has any idea that this stuff is happening,” Trump continued. “Biden’s job-killing EV mandate has dictated that nearly 70 percent of all cars sold in the United States must be fully electric … It’s crazy.”
The Environmental Protection Agency proposed new emissions standards back in May that would require 67.5 percent of all car sales in the U.S. to be electric by 2032. The White House has not adopted any official standards.
“Biden’s mandate isn’t a government regulation, it’s a government assassination of your jobs and of your industry,” Trump told autoworkers Wednesday.
Trump has repeatedly called for the UAW’s endorsement ahead of the 2024 election, arguing that Biden’s policies could cause the automobile industry to go out of business. UAW President Shawn Fain, however, previously praised the president’s steps toward greener energy.
During Wednesday’s speech, Trump also claimed that Biden’s “entire career has been an act of economic treason” against labor unions, and again urged for the UAW’s support.
“Rotten and crooked politicians like Biden treat American jobs as disposable and American workers as expendable,” Trump told supporters. “They sat back and got rich by taking bribes to let other countries rape and pillage our jobs.”
Trump appears to be referring to the allegations by House Republicans that Biden accepted bribes while serving as vice president, one of several accusations at the heart of the GOP’s call for an impeachment inquiry into the president. The accusations, such as those made by former Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Shokin, were previously found to be “not supported by facts” by the Justice Department under the Trump administration.
The event on Wednesday arrived one day after Biden met with UAW members on strike in Michigan, the first time that a sitting president in modern U.S. history stood with union members on a picket line. Prior to Trump’s rally, Fain said that he found “pathetic irony” in the former president attempting to show support for the UAW.
Newsweek has reached out to the UAW via email Wednesday night for comment.
Update 09/27/23, 10:13 p.m. ET: This article has been updated with additional information and background.