Former President Donald Trump is set to skip the second Republican presidential primary debate in California next week and will instead travel to Detroit. Trump will stand in solidarity on September 27 with striking union autoworkers advocating for improved contract terms from the Big Three automakers.

Traditionally, the UAW has endorsed Democratic candidates, but it has refrained from endorsing Biden in his bid for a second term. Under the leadership of its new president Shawn Fain, the union has expressed the need to see more action from the president before making any endorsement decision.

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“Every fiber of our union is being poured into fighting the billionaire class and an economy that enriches people like Donald Trump at the expense of workers,” Fain said in an emailed statement. “We can’t keep electing billionaires and millionaires that don’t have any understanding what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to get by and expecting them to solve the problems of the working class.”

Trump’s impending visit sets the stage for a unique political dynamic involving the union and two prominent leaders. Just last week, President Biden expressed his support for the UAW, acknowledging concerns that automakers have not adequately shared their substantial profits from recent years with the UAW and need to make more substantial offers.

“Auto companies have seen record profits, including in the last few years, because of the extraordinary skill and sacrifices of the UAW workers,” Biden said. “Those record profits have not been shared fairly in my view with those workers.”

While the UAW continues to scrutinize Biden’s stance, the possibility of a Trump endorsement from the union is rumored to remain unlikely. Fain has reiterated on multiple occasions that another Trump presidency would be viewed as “a disaster.”

Nevertheless, even in the absence of a formal endorsement from the union’s top leadership, many union autoworkers are also voters, particularly in crucial swing states like Michigan. Trump’s presence, with the opportunity for selfies and handshakes, may prove appealing to some members of a workforce that has faced considerable challenges.

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