NOVI, Mich. — Donald Trump visited the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi Friday afternoon, marking his fifth trip to Michigan since winning the Republican nomination in July. The event attracted close to 1,000 attendees.
After being introduced by Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor, Trump focused his speech on criticizing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, spending most of the evening listing off a multitude of reasons why she is unfit to be president.
Multiple chants of “Lock her up” ensued throughout the rally, and many attendees wore shirts that said “Hillary for Prison 2016.” The crowd also chanted “Follow the money,” in reference to Clinton’s relationship with high-stakes donors.
“On Nov. 8, we are going to end the Clinton corruption,” Trump said, eliciting many cheers from the audience. “We are going to put America first. Hillary is an insider fighting for herself and her donors. I’m an outsider fighting for you.”
Trump also discussed Clinton’s email scandal, her close relationships with lobbyists and donors and his economic class. The candidate described Clinton as the leader of the arrogant political class — a group of people who, Trump said in a pointed comment to the Michigan audience, don’t care about protecting wages and jobs of the middle class.
“We have a movement in this country that we’ve never seen before,” Trump said. “The corrupt media working along with the political establishment are panicking because they know this is awfully tough to stop. The donors and lobbyists are doing everything they can to help crooked Hillary Clinton.”
Beyond the topic of Clinton, Trump also emphasized U.S. debt and bringing jobs back to the country, specifically focusing on the automotive industry in Michigan.
“It’s time to rebuild Michigan, and we’re not letting them take your jobs out of Michigan any longer,” Trump said. “Why is it that you used to not be able to drink the water in Mexico and cars were made in Flint and now cars are made in Mexico and we can’t drink the water in Flint?”
Trump went on to ask the audience if they think the country could handle “another Barack Obama, but worse.”
“Obama has doubled the debt,” Trump said. “Our roads are bad, our schools are bad, our tunnels are bad. They’re all falling apart. We’ve spent six trillion in the Middle East when we could have rebuilt our country twice.”
In response to the ever-mounting debt, Trump described his economic solution and plan as the biggest tax cut since Ronald Reagan.
“The Trump economic agenda are three beautiful words: jobs, jobs, jobs. We’re bringing our jobs back,” Trump said.
However, according to an op-ed in Brookings, Trump’s plan would ultimately increase the national debt and hike interest rates, effectively nullifying any economic benefits and create a deficit of $9.4 trillion between 2017 and 2026.
Trump has previously visited suburban Lansing and Detroit twice and Flint once. Michigan has recently become a hotspot for presidential campaigning — most recently with Chelsea Clinton visiting East Lansing, Tim Kaine visiting Ann Arbor and Kaine’s wife, Ann Holton, also campaigning for Clinton in Ann Arbor on a separate occasion.
The heavy campaigning is somewhat unusual in Michigan, which hasn’t voted Republican since 1988. However, Trump has made the state a focus, stating multiple times he would like to flip the state, and his economic message is generally in part toward manufacturing-heavy states like Michigan. Recent RealClearPolitics polling shows Clinton has a 5.3 percentlead over Trump.
The Detroit Free Press, in conjunction with WXYZ-TV, recently conducted its own poll of the state and that 38 percent plan to vote for Clinton and 35 percent for Trump, with the rest of the state either undecided or voting for third-party candidates.
The recent statewide polling mirrors national polling of the campaigns showing a marginally close race, with the two candidates almost consistently polling within a few points of each other. As of July 24, the Wall Street Journal reports Clinton with a 2.5 lead nationally.
In closing his remarks Friday, Trump reminded the audience to get out and vote on Nov. 8. He told his supporters that he works for no one but the American people, and as president he won’t do what others tell him to do.
“The people are tired of being treated as second class citizens, of being talked down to,” Trump said. “This is the year the American people say enough is enough.”