One important person who, needless to say, isn’t buying Trump’s bullshit-populism:
The UAW’s lead negotiator in contract talks with General Motors on Wednesday issued a scathing assessment of former President Donald Trump hours before Trump was due to speak in Detroit.
UAW Vice President for General Motors Mike Booth sent the Detroit Free Press a profanity-laden email about his thoughts on Trump’s trip to Michigan.
“Let me be blunt. Donald Trump is coming off as a pompous (expletive),” Booth said in an email. “Coming to Michigan to speak at a nonunion employer and pretending it has anything to do with our fight at the Big Three is just more verbal diarrhea from the former president.”
Trump was expected to deliver prime-time remarks at Drake Enterprises in Clinton Township. The auto parts supplier is nonunionized. According to an AP report, Trump will speak to a crowd of “several hundred current and former UAW members, as well as members of plumbers and pipefitters unions.”
Alas, reporters whose skin in the game is if anything in the other direction are much easier to fool:
Donald Trump is not going to speak to striking autoworkers on Wednesday. He is going to a non-union auto supplier in Michigan, where he will perform a pro-labor routine in front of workers who are not represented by the UAW. You could be forgiven for thinking otherwise after reading recent press coverage, which has portrayed Trump as some iconoclastic friend of workers.
Take Politico, for example. The first line of a Wednesday night newsletter on the GOP’s coming “labor realignment” said, falsely, that the former president will “address striking auto workers.” (Politico has since deleted “striking, but without a correction. The original version is still visible on the Wayback Machine.) The piece, curiously, does note that the actual location of Trump’s speech in a later paragraph is “Drake Enterprises, a non-union shop” — so why open with a falsehood? Everything else that follows is flawed.
The story goes on to make a muddled case for the supposed realignment, citing Senator Josh Hawley’s visit to a Missouri picket line without mentioning his support for an anti-union “right to work” law. Senator J.D. Vance did say that “workers deserve to get their end of the shake,” but on X, the senator criticized UAW leadership for embracing Joe Biden’s “war on American cars.” It does note that Trump did better than most Republicans have with union households in 2016 but adds that he did a lot worse in 2020. The best evidence Politico can muster for this labor realignment is polling from a right-wing think tank, which shows that 41 percent of Republicans believe unions are a “positive force.” Oren Cass, the former Mitt Romney adviser who leads the think tank, told Politico, “There is no going back to a pre-Trump, 1980s-style conservatism.”
Except once you strip away Trump’s bluster, you see a recognizably Republican creature. His labor lies are proof. The former president wanted people to believe he was speaking to striking autoworkers, but the UAW had not invited him and its president, Shawn Fain, had sharply criticized Trump. The press fell for Trump’s lies anyway.
If you’re fooled by Josh “Right to Work” Hawley because he uses strikes to rant about electric cars, let’s arrange a high-stakes poker game post-haste.