Donald Trump could skip Republican debate to address striking Detroit workers

Donald Trump wants to show workers he has "always had their backs" according to a new campaign ad
Donald Trump wants to show workers he has "always had their backs" according to a new campaign ad - EPA

Donald Trump will skip next week’s Republican primary debate to deliver a speech in front of union workers in Detroit, according to reports.

In a bid to detract attention from his rivals, the talk in Michigan is expected to take place in the prime-time slot, advisers told The New York Times.

Mr Trump, 77, ducked out of the first primary debate in favour of an interview with former Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson.

The interview was shared on X five minutes before the August debate began, and received hundreds of millions of views.

Mr Trump is understood to be skipping Wednesday’s debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California to speak to more than 500 workers including plumbers, electricians and autoworkers.

It comes days after car industry workers in Michigan, Missouri and Ohio began industrial action targeting plants run by the Big Three car manufacturers.

The union is demanding a 40 per cent wage increase over four years.

Auto workers in Detroit are striking over pay
Auto workers in Detroit are striking over pay - BLOOMBERG

A radio advert portraying Mr Trump as the candidate sympathetic to striking workers will begin running on Tuesday in Detroit and Toledo, Ohio. It is expected to air on sports and rock-themed stations.

During the advert, the narrator says: “All they’ve ever wanted is to compete fairly worldwide and get their fair share of the American dream. Donald Trump calls them great Americans and has always had their backs.”

The advert also attacks Mr Biden and his administration’s support for electric vehicles.

Mr Trump attacked United Auto Workers (UAW) president Shawn Fain on Sunday, suggesting workers had been “sold down the river by their leadership.”

Mr Fain said “every fibre 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”.

“We can’t keep electing billionaires and millionaires that don’t have any understanding [of] 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.”