“He knew and purposely played it down. Worse, he lied to the American people. He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country for months,” Biden said in front of the United Auto Workers training facility in Warren, Mich., where he had planned to give a speech on a “Made in America” plan for the economy.
Biden called Trump’s actions “a life and death betrayal of the American people.”
“It’s beyond despicable. It’s a dereliction of duty. It’s a disgrace,” Biden said angrily.
Biden then made prepared remarks, promising to sign executive actions, if elected, that would prioritize American workers and products. Among them, he vowed to convert the government’s fleet of vehicles to electric vehicles that had been manufactured in the United States. Throughout his speech, he criticized Trump’s record on the economy since taking office.
“He promised he’d bring back jobs, stop companies from leaving,” Biden said. “He makes his wild claims and now hopes we don’t notice what he said or won’t remember. … He’s hoping we just have poor memories. He doesn’t give as much credit that the American people are smart, honest, decent, and they’re hard-working. And we expect our president to be straight with us.”
Biden’s motorcade arrived at a UAW training facility shortly before 1:14 p.m. The campaign had not publicized the location, but members of UAW for Trump posted it on Facebook, attracting more than 30 counterprotesters who gathered nearby and shouted slogans: “Say no to Creepy Joe!” and “Back the Blue.” No Biden supporters were outside the event.
“If they’d said where Biden was going to be, there’d be 500 people here,” said Terry McLellan, 63, who said he had driven from local to local asking where Biden was going to arrive. “Biden comes here, and they’ve got to pay hourly wages for UAW members to show up.”
After Biden arrived, eight of his supporters showed up and positioned themselves across a street from the Trump supporters. Greg and Mary Alice Schulte, who had volunteered for Biden in Iowa, said that they had driven from UAW site to UAW site in Warren, looking for Biden, until they spotted the security and Trump protesters.
“It doesn’t surprise us that there aren’t big numbers out here for Joe,” Greg Schulte, 53, said. “He’s doing the right thing with these kind of events, trying to protect people. If boats and signs decided this election, he’d be in trouble, but they don’t.”
As reporters circled the Biden supporters, talking to them about their votes, Trump supporters circled the venue, honking their horns when they spotted Trump flags.