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Trump rallies to win Michigan, Black voters from Biden

By Ehren Wynder
Donald Trump won Michigan in 2016 but narrowly lost it to Joe Biden by three points in 2020. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Donald Trump won Michigan in 2016 but narrowly lost it to Joe Biden by three points in 2020. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

June 15 (UPI) -- Donald Trump spoke to Black leaders and headlined a Turning Point USA event Saturday in Detroit as he seeks to wrestle the Great Lakes State back from President Joe Biden.

Giving keynote remarks at Turning Point's "The People's Convention" at Huntington Place in downtown Detroit, Trump touted the renegotiation of trade with Canada and Mexico under his administration as beneficial to American auto workers.

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"In particular, Michigan was better off with Trump by a lot," Trump said to the crowd. "Companies were moving back, and the car companies weren't moving out, and you weren't under a mandate to build all electric cars, which are all going to be made in China -- it's just a questions of a few years."

Trump said as president he would eliminate the push for electric vehicles and emission limits that the Environmental Protection Agency implemented under Biden.

Trump also laid into United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain after the UAW earlier this year said it endorsed Biden.

"We can't let these people destroy our country like this," Trump said. "They're going crazy."

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The former president was in the largest city in the battleground state of Michigan as part of an effort to court Black voters leading up to the November election.

In his first visit to Detroit since his New York hush money conviction, Trump also joined a roundtable discussion with local Black leaders at 180 Church on Detroit's west side.

The discussion Saturday centered around issues affecting Black Americans and people of color. During the discussion, the church's pastor Lorenzo Sewell asked Trump how to encourage entrepreneurship and keep the "Black dollar in the Black community."

Trump replied that if Detroit politicians "stop the crime, they're going to see more and more stores sprout."

Trump's campaign on Saturday also announced the endorsement of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, another name among a few dozen Black leaders who have endorsed the former president and presumptive Republican nominee.

Kilpatrick, who was sentenced in 2013 on two dozen criminal counts for his role in a decade-long criminal racket while he was mayor, had his sentence commuted by Trump before he left the White House.

"I can never thank President Trump enough for what he's done for me and my family by giving me freedom," Kilpatrick said. "But I believe this election and the issues involved are personal to every family and every person in America."

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Trump's visit to Detroit comes less than a month after Biden spoke at the NAACP's Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner.

NAACP Detroit President Wendell Anthony criticized Trump's appearance at a church as pursuing his political agenda and "really a mischaracterization and misuse of a sacred institution."

Biden and Trump both have been battling to win the hearts of Black voters, but Biden's campaign is concerned about his diminishing Black support.

Trump won Michigan from Hilary Clinton in 2016 despite losing the majority-Black city of Detroit. Biden in 2020 won Detroit by a large margin and narrowly won Michigan, but Black Trump support in Detroit did increase slightly.

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