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Donald Trump, Jr. campaigns for his father in Macomb County

Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., campaigned for his father in Macomb County on Monday night.

Trump Jr. addressed a festive but occasionally-angry (and largely maskless) crowd at a Harrison Township boat club along with his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle. Singer Kid Rock also performed there.

The president’s son hit on familiar Trump campaign themes: saying the president has rallied the country’s economy, while darkly suggesting that former Vice President Joe Biden and “the radical left” will destroy the country for “decent people.”

Trump Jr. never mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic, nor its disastrous economic fallout. But he did allude to pandemic shutdowns in a negative way—while also riling up the crowd with references to ongoing civil unrest, and protests over police brutality and racial injustice.

“This is the first time in American history where you get into more trouble for opening your business to feed your family, than you do for burning down someone else’s,” Trump Jr. said.

Trump Jr. also told the crowd that Biden is beholden to China, and blamed him for supporting trade policies decades ago that integrated China into the global trade system. He also said that President Trump has restored American manufacturing. In fact, under Trump and before the pandemic, manufacturing had rebounded only modestly after two decades of decline, and Michigan and other Rust Belt states continued to lose manufacturing jobs.

Trump Jr. made other false claims. He said Biden will raise taxes on working- and middle-class Americans, and devote that revenue to free health care and education for “illegal immigrants.” In fact, Biden’s tax plan simply calls for raising taxes on corporations, and American households making over $400,000 a year.

But Trump Jr.’s most repeated theme were his ominous warnings about Democrats controlling the federal government, and what that would mean for people who support Trump, and their values.

“This is not your grandparents’ Democrat party. This party doesn’t represent working class Americans anymore. It doesn’t even represent decent Americans anymore,” Trump Jr. warned.

Trump won big in Macomb County in 2016, helping propel him to victory in Michigan by a narrow 10,000 vote margin. His campaign knows he needs to repeat that performance if he hopes to take the state again in November.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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