President Trump tore apart Joe Biden’s job creation record at a raucous rally in the key battleground state of Michigan on Thursday evening, calling the former veep a “Washington vulture.”
“If Biden’s elected, China will own America. Washington vultures like Biden and others ripped apart entire towns all across your state,” Trump told a crowd of supporters at an overflowing airport hangar in Freeland, Michigan.
“Michigan lost half of all manufacturing jobs after the trade deals that Biden supported,” the president continued during a 90-minute address.
Trump won the state by a razor-thin margin of 10,704 votes in 2016 in a huge upset over Hillary Clinton and is hoping for a more resounding victory in the must-win Wolverine State this November.
Once a thriving hub of automobile manufacturing, Michigan has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs due in part to free trade deals such as NAFTA and China’s entrance to the World Trade Organization — both deals supported by Biden.
“No president has been better for Michigan, remember that, and I’m going to remember Michigan,” Trump said to cheers of “four more years.”
He railed against “the horrible damage Joe Biden inflicted over the last 47 years” and claimed the Obama-Biden administration “nearly killed the US auto industry.”
“Joe Biden supported the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership which would have been a death sentence for American auto jobs. I withdrew from the TPP in my first week of office. That was so easy.”
“You wouldn’t have been making cars. You would have been buying cars from foreign lands. We’ve had enough of that,” he continued.
Trump’s visit to the Rustbelt state came on the heels of his opponent’s swing through Michigan on Wednesday.
The RealClearPolitics polling average has Biden ahead by 4.2 percentage points, but that is half of the 8.4 point advantage he held over Trump in early June.
Surrounded by Ford trucks and American flags in Detroit on Wednesday, Biden’s “Made in America” platform appeared to be straight out of Trump’s playbook.
The former veep said he would impose a 10 percent penalty for offshoring jobs and hit Trump for failing to live up to his promises of creating US manufacturing jobs.
“Nearly 20,000 auto manufacturing jobs have been lost in Michigan under Trump. Nearly 80,000 were created during the Obama-Biden administration,” Biden said.
Biden said before the pandemic, “Trump was creating an average of 500,000 jobs, fewer per year than in the last three years when President Obama and I were in office.”
During an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper just hours before Trump took the stage, Biden conceded that Trump’s USMCA deal is “better than NAFTA.”
Trump also hit Michigan’s Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for coronavirus lock-downs which sparked armed protests, saying, “Open up your state, Madam Governor, open up your state.”
“Just like crazy Nancy Pelosi, your governor is a liberal hypocrite who lives by a different set of rules,” the president said, referring to the Speaker’s maskless visit to a hair salon in San Francisco.
“Her husband was caught trying to put his boat in the water on Memorial Day week while she was ordering the people of Michigan to stay in their homes and forcing businesses into bankruptcy left and right,” Trump added.
Additional reporting by Steven Nelson