Trump returns to Michigan, rallies GOP faithful in railing against electric vehicles 

By: - June 26, 2023 2:47 am

Former President Donald Trump speaks on May 28, 2022, in Casper, Wyoming. (Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images)

Back in Michigan Sunday for the first time since announcing in November he would seek a White House run again in 2024, former President Donald Trump railed against electric vehicles, saying they would “decimate” the automotive industry.

Speaking at the Oakland County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day dinner inside Novi’s Suburban Collection Showplace, Trump quickly focused his attack on President Joe Biden, who defeated him in the 2020 election, and Democrats in Michigan who support creating jobs in the EV battery market. 

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Trump said electric vehicles will “kill” U.S. auto jobs and “decimate” auto suppliers.

“They’re being decimated already. Decimate the suppliers and it’s going to decimate your jobs and it’s going to decimate more than anybody else, the state of Michigan. It’s going to be decimation. It’s going to be at a level that people can’t even imagine,” he said.

Trump’s last Michigan appearance was an October rally in Macomb County featuring GOP gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon, GOP attorney general nominee Matt DePerno and GOP secretary of state nominee Kristina Karamo, who’s now Michigan Republican Party chair. All three Republicans lost heavily in the November election, where Democrats took back control of the Michigan Legislature for the first time in roughly 40 years.

Oakland County Republicans presented Trump with a “Man of the Decade” award. 

Despite facing more than 70 felony counts in separate state and federal investigations, the former president riled up the crowd of about 2,500 party faithful in painting Democrats as lawless.

“On Nov. 5, 2024, we are going to stand up to the Marxists, the communists, the fascists and the globalists,” said Trump, with the former term often being deployed by the far-right against Jewish people. 

“And we’re going to win,” he continued. “We’re going to win. We’re going to win big. We’re going to evict crooked Joe Biden from the White House. You notice I took the word away. I retired the word from Crooked Hillary Clinton because I felt that Joe Biden needed it much more. He’s Crooked Joe. We’re going to finish what we started and we will make America great again.”

In 2020, Trump lost Michigan by more than 154,000 votes, the national popular vote by more than 7 million votes and the Electoral College 306-232.

Trump also used the speech to attack his potential primary challengers, especially Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who he referred to multiple times as “Ron DeSanctimonious.”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Perry Johnson on Feb. 23, 2022. (Andrew Roth | Michigan Advance)

Several hours prior to the rally, former Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Perry Johnson, who is now seeking the GOP presidential nomination, had his campaign bus turned away from outside the event.

“My campaign was a sponsor of today’s Oakland GOP Lincoln Day Dinner & had arranged to park our campaign bus in the lot & have an opportunity to talk to voters,” he tweeted. “Our bus was just turned away and they threatened to call the police. Video coming. What is @realDonaldTrump scared of?”

Johnson’s campaign later parked the bus across the street.


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Jon King
Jon King

Jon King is the Senior Reporter for the Michigan Advance and has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He is the Past President of the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Association and has been recognized for excellence numerous times, most recently in 2022 with the Best Investigative Story by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Cleary University. Jon and his family live in Howell.