Trump Decides to Opt out of 2nd Debate, Instead Focusing on Detroit Speech to Address Auto Matters

Former President Donald Trump plans to give a speech in Detroit on Sept. 27 that will include a focus on auto issues, skipping the second Republican presidential debate, an aide told Reuters.

The speech is expected to include auto workers and other blue collar workers, the aide added. The speech comes as Trump has been harshly critical of President Joe Biden’s electric vehicle policies and urged autoworkers to back his candidacy.

Word of it also comes with negotiators for the United Auto Workers union and the three large U.S. automakers — General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis, the parent of Chrysler, Jeep and Ram —still far apart in talks and thousands of workers on strike since Friday.

The strike is not a full-scale walkout by the union’s roughly 150,000 members but a “limited and targeted” work stoppage by about 12,700 workers that could expand if talks remain bogged down. It began after workers’ four-year contracts expired. Workers are concerned about pay and retirement benefits and improvements in work schedules, among other issues.

The second primary debate for the GOP is set for Sept. 27 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California.

For the first debate, Trump was a no-show, giving an interview instead to Tucker Carlson, the popular former Fox News talk show hosts who now regularly posts video to the former Twitter, now called X. At the time he said he’d pass on the Fox News-hosted event, he said via social media: ” He wrote that he’s polling well ahead of his rivals and added, “Reagan didn’t do it, and neither did others. People know my Record, one of the BEST EVER, so why would I Debate?”

Post-debate, several experts agreed that the strategy had worked for the former president.

As Newsmax reported back in August, Trump, seen as frontrunner for the party nomination in most polls, only solidified his lead with his absence, those experts said.

“The winner was [former President] Donald Trump and the losers were all candidates not named Donald Trump,” said historian and Chapman University Prof. Luke Nichter. “And the key moment was when the others tried to be combative and Trump-like to try to break through.”

Nichter, author of the critically acclaimed new book “1968: The Year That Broke Politics,” added that “the bottom line is that the debate did not change the momentum.”

Veteran North Carolina political analyst Marc Rotterman added that “the big winner tonight was former President Donald Trump.”

“His decision not to join the food fight that ensued will pay dividends for his campaign and for his poll numbers,” he said.

Rotterman went on to observe that, in his opinion, “the big losers were the American people, the Republican Party, and I might add, Fox News.”

“The moderators lost control of the debate early and it went downhill from there,” he said.

Newsmax contributed to this report.

© 2023 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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