Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Biden Aims To Rebuild 'Blue Wall' in Appeal To Autoworkers
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 4 years ago on
September 10, 2020

Share

WARREN, Mich. — Joe Biden traveled to suburban Detroit on Wednesday to make a direct appeal to blue-collar workers who might have voted Republican four years ago but now regret it — attempting to rebuild the once fabled Democratic “blue wall” that crumbled and helped catapult Donald Trump to the White House.

The former vice president’s first coronavirus-era campaign trips beyond his home in Delaware have been to Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, an indication of how closely Biden’s electoral prospects are tied to winning back those formerly reliably Democratic states.

Biden pledged to rewrite tax codes to reward U.S. companies that invest in domestic manufacturing while imposing penalties on those that send jobs to other countries. He spoke outside a United Auto Workers regional office in Warren, flanked by an array of U.S.-made cars including Fords, Jeeps and Chevrolets.

“I’m not looking to punish American businesses but there’s a better way,” Biden said. “Make it in Michigan. Make it in America. Invest in the communities and the workers in places like Warren.”

He noted that a local General Motors transmission plant closed last year despite Trump’s pledges to protect Michigan jobs, adding, “I bet the workers around here weren’t all that comforted by Trump’s empty promises.”

“Under Donald Trump, Michigan lost auto jobs even before COVID hit,” Biden said. “And what about offshoring? Has Trump delivered on stopping companies from shipping American jobs overseas? You already know the answer to that. Of course not.”

Last week, Biden went to Wisconsin and was followed quickly by running mate Kamala Harris, who held Labor Day events there. Biden hit Pennsylvania during the holiday and will be back on Friday.

Trump is countering with his own trip to Michigan on Thursday and also will be in Pennsylvania himself the following day.

Though the Biden campaign often emphasizes that it sees multiple ways to secure the 270 Electoral College votes it needs to win in November, the quickest path runs through Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden talks with union leaders after taking photographs outside the AFL-CIO headquarters in Harrisburg, Pa., Monday, Sept. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Biden’s Aides Believe His Focus on the Economy and Trump’s Handling of the Coronavirus Will Resonate

“If Biden wins any of them — but particularly any two, with some of the other states that are in play — it’s pretty impossible for Trump to win the Electoral College,” said veteran Democratic strategist Joe Trippi.

Biden’s aides believe his focus on the economy and Trump’s handling of the coronavirus will resonate with key voters nationwide but particularly in states like Michigan, which took one of the sharpest hits nationally from the pandemic.

The state’s unemployment rate spiked at 24% in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It has since recovered to 8.7%, but Michigan has nearly 414,500 fewer jobs than it did when Trump was inaugurated.

Previewing the president’s own Michigan trip, the Trump campaign looked to paint Biden as deferential on China. Trump’s allies have long credited his hawkish stance toward Beijing in 2016 as helping him win the industrial Midwest, which suffered job losses overseas that Trump blamed on Obama-era trade policies.

Trump aides have frequently repeated claims about Biden’s ties to China, but that’s proven problematic in light of Trump’s own kind words for that country earlier this year at the start of the pandemic. They also have also ignored the Obama-Biden administration’s efforts to save the American automotive industry, based in Michigan, after 2008’s recession.

“Joe Biden is going to the state of Michigan to pretend to be a friend and ally to workers in the industrial heartland,” said Steve Cortes, Trump campaign senior adviser, “but he has proven over and over that he is a globalist and a corporatist who, as senator from Delaware, well represented corporate interests over American workers.”

Biden, by contrast, stressed the Obama White House’s efforts to revive the auto industry 12 years ago and said Wednesday that Trump has “failed our economy and our country.” He also promised to create a “Made in America” office within the White House Office of Management and Budget to ensure government projects use resources made domestically.

The Biden Campaign Is Heavily Outspending the Trump Campaign

Trump supporters maintain that the president fulfilled his job creation promises and was only temporarily sidetracked by the pandemic. But hiring at factories across the Midwest — including in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin — actually began to stall and then decline in the summer of 2019.

Trump won Michigan by the narrowest margin of any state in 2016 — fewer than 11,000 votes — and Democrats made huge gains there in the midterms, winning every major statewide office and a handful of congressional seats as well.

Indeed, Democrats see reasons for optimism in the party’s gains during the 2018 midterms in all three states, which were powered in part by an exodus of suburban women from the GOP. And they believe that a stronger emphasis on minority turnout — with Harris, the first African-American woman on a major ticket, focused heavily on Black voters in key states — will help Biden make up some of the ground Clinton lost in 2016.

“The campaign’s taking it more seriously from the start than national Democrats did four years ago,” said Amy Chapman, who worked as Barack Obama’s Michigan state director in 2008. “They started doing advertising earlier than they did last cycle — last cycle they were only up at the very end — and the ads show what Biden would do, as well as showing a contrast with Trump.”

The Biden campaign is heavily outspending the Trump campaign on-air in all three states. Since Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee in early April, his campaign has spent about $59.8 million to the Trump campaign’s nearly $26.8 million across the states, according to the ad tracking firm Kantar/CMAG. The difference is starkest in Michigan, where the Biden campaign has spent $17.2 million to Trump’s $6.7 million.

For future spending, however, the two come about even, with Biden reserving $33.5 million on air and Trump reserving $32.7 million across all three states.

Trump and Biden will both be in Pennsylvania on Friday at a Sept. 11 memorial in Shanksville, the site of the 2001 crash of United Flight 93.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

DON'T MISS

Hot Rod Willys: Driven to Bake the Perfect Chicago-Style Pizza

DON'T MISS

Local Leaders Must Put Their Shoulders Into Making Fresno ‘Education City USA’

DON'T MISS

EdSource Welcomes Fresno News Veteran Jim Boren to Its Board

DON'T MISS

Senate Dismissed Two Articles of Impeachment, Ending Trial on Mayorkas

DON'T MISS

Netanyahu Dismisses Calls for Restraint, Says Israel Will Decide Iran Attack Response

DON'T MISS

New Study Calculates Climate Change’s Economic Bite Will Hit About $38 Trillion a Year by 2049

DON'T MISS

Biden Pledges to Block Japanese Takeover of US Steel and Promises Tariffs on Chinese Steel

DON'T MISS

Don Arax Talks About His New Football Job at Visalia’s Central Valley Christian

DON'T MISS

Dem House Challengers Salas, Gray Flex Fundraising Muscle

UP NEXT

Dem House Challengers Salas, Gray Flex Fundraising Muscle

UP NEXT

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

UP NEXT

NPR Editor Suspended Over Claims of Network’s ‘Progressive Worldview’

UP NEXT

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

UP NEXT

New Recruiting Programs Put Army, Air Force on Track to Meet Enlistment Goals. Navy Will Fall Short

UP NEXT

California Officials Sue Huntington Beach Over Voter ID Law Passed at Polls

UP NEXT

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

UP NEXT

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

UP NEXT

Scheffler Turns the Masters Into Another Sunday Yawner With a Dominating Win

UP NEXT

Vegas, US Tour and More Signings: Wrexham Has Plenty of Fun and Work Ahead After Latest Promotion

EdSource Welcomes Fresno News Veteran Jim Boren to Its Board

11 hours ago

Senate Dismissed Two Articles of Impeachment, Ending Trial on Mayorkas

11 hours ago

Netanyahu Dismisses Calls for Restraint, Says Israel Will Decide Iran Attack Response

12 hours ago

New Study Calculates Climate Change’s Economic Bite Will Hit About $38 Trillion a Year by 2049

12 hours ago

Biden Pledges to Block Japanese Takeover of US Steel and Promises Tariffs on Chinese Steel

12 hours ago

Don Arax Talks About His New Football Job at Visalia’s Central Valley Christian

13 hours ago

Dem House Challengers Salas, Gray Flex Fundraising Muscle

14 hours ago

Career-High Strike Outs for Ryan Weathers as Marlins Best Giants 6-3

14 hours ago

LeBron’s Lakers Top Pelicans in Play-in, Set up Playoff Rematch With Nuggets

15 hours ago

Storm Dumps Record Rain and Floods Dubai’s Airport

15 hours ago

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he strongly supports a proposal from House Speaker Mike Johnson to provide aid to Ukrai...

9 hours ago

9 hours ago

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

10 hours ago

Hot Rod Willys: Driven to Bake the Perfect Chicago-Style Pizza

10 hours ago

Local Leaders Must Put Their Shoulders Into Making Fresno ‘Education City USA’

11 hours ago

EdSource Welcomes Fresno News Veteran Jim Boren to Its Board

11 hours ago

Senate Dismissed Two Articles of Impeachment, Ending Trial on Mayorkas

12 hours ago

Netanyahu Dismisses Calls for Restraint, Says Israel Will Decide Iran Attack Response

12 hours ago

New Study Calculates Climate Change’s Economic Bite Will Hit About $38 Trillion a Year by 2049

12 hours ago

Biden Pledges to Block Japanese Takeover of US Steel and Promises Tariffs on Chinese Steel

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend