LANSING, Mich. — On Sunday, former President Donald Trump made his highly-anticipated appearance in Michigan, a crucial battleground state that played a pivotal role in his 2016 victory but eluded him in the 2020 election. Headlining the Oakland County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner, Trump aimed to reclaim lost ground and solidify his position as the potential 2024 Republican nominee.
The event marked his inaugural campaign visit to Michigan in the 2024 cycle.
SPEECH Trump to Headline Oakland County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
When: Sunday, June 25, 2023
Time: 6:30 pm ET
Where: Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan
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Michigan holds immense significance for Trump, as winning the state would be vital to his presidential aspirations. However, the political landscape has witnessed a shift with Democrats making substantial gains in recent years, posing a challenge to the former president’s bid to regain support.
Addressing a crowd of 2,500 fervent supporters at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan, Trump delved into various topics, including his concerns over the future of Michigan’s traditional auto industry in light of the push for electric vehicles. In a remark that garnered attention, he expressed his belief that the adoption of electric vehicles would lead to the “decimation” of the state’s long-standing automotive sector. Trump’s stance on this issue has the potential to influence public opinion and shape discussions surrounding the future of the auto industry in Michigan.
The event came on the heels of Trump’s speech to an influential religious right-wing group on Saturday, where he claimed credit for ending the landmark Supreme Court ruling of Roe v Wade, which provided constitutional protections for abortion. While Trump celebrated his role in overturning the decision, he refrained from presenting a detailed proposal for national abortion restrictions during his Michigan appearance. In contrast, his 2024 rival, Mike Pence, openly supports a nationwide ban on abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy. Trump’s position on abortion restrictions, or lack thereof, raises questions about his potential stance on a national ban if Republican lawmakers were to pass one through Congress.
Michigan’s political landscape has undergone significant changes since Trump’s initial victory in 2016. Although he won the state in 2016, his support waned in 2020, leading to a loss against Joe Biden. Trump’s polarizing presence has affected the Michigan Republican Party, with some attributing its current weakened state to his disruptive influence. Candidates endorsed by Trump in the past faced defeat, and controversies surrounding individuals like Matthew DePerno, Trump’s attorney general pick, further tarnished the party’s reputation. Michigan Republicans, who once held control over all levels of state government, find themselves in an unfamiliar position of powerlessness, with the Democratic Party dominating the political landscape.
Oakland County, which houses a substantial number of Republican voters, serves as a critical barometer for Michigan’s electoral politics. While Trump lost the county in both 2016 and 2020, Biden garnered nearly 100,000 more votes there than his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, ultimately clinching the state by approximately 155,000 votes. Recognizing the significance of Oakland County, Trump aimed to rally support and regain favor among voters in this key region.
In a bid to enhance his chances, a new plan has been put forward that favors Trump in the upcoming Michigan primary. Under this plan, only 16 of the state’s 55 delegates will be awarded based on the results of the primary, which is scheduled for February 27. The distribution of the remaining 39 delegates will take place in closed-door caucus meetings four days later, conducted by party members who had previously selected Kristina Karamo as the Republican nominee for secretary of state. This plan, designed to give Trump an advantage, takes into account his popularity and extensive political involvement in the state over the past seven years