By Ivan Flores
President Barack Obama stopped in Ann Arbor to campaign for Hillary Clinton today. The visit was part of a barnstorm across the country on the eve of the election. Michigan has gotten special attention; Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump and his running-mate, Mike Pence, all held rallies in the state on Monday, following a visit to Detroit by Mrs. Clinton on Friday.
Mr. Obama addressed an enthusiastic crowd at the University of Michigan’s Ray Fisher Stadium. He delivered a blistering attack on Trump, hammering him on everything from the economy to his temperament.
“Over the weekend, (Trump’s) campaign took away his twitter account,” Mr. Obama said. “If your closest advisors don’t trust you to tweet, then how can we trust (you) with the nuclear codes?”
This claim, which was rejected by one of Trump’s top aids, is a line of attack meant to motivate democrats to vote, rather than to persuade motivated voters.
Democrats are aware of their vulnerability in Michigan, which has 16 electoral votes up for grabs. Those votes may be critical if Trump is to clinch the 270 votes he needs win the presidency. A poll released by Trafalgar Group shows Trump ahead of Clinton in Michigan by two percent.
Trump’s promise to “make America great again” has resonated with working-class whites, many of whom saw their manufacturing jobs, like in the auto industry, shipped overseas during the 2008 recession. However, Mr. Obama sought to remind Michiganders about the progress made during his presidency.
“I think I have some credibility here,” he said. “Plants that were closing when I took office are working double shift now. The auto industry has record sales. Manufacturing jobs have grown at the fastest rates since the 90s.”
Last summer, Mr Trump said, “You could have let (the auto industry) go bankrupt, frankly.” According to the president, Trump has also suggested that Michigan’s jobs be shipped to states without unions so workers could be paid less.
Mr. Obama said that had two of the Big Three gone bankrupt, it could have cost the nation one million jobs and crippled Michigan’s economy.
Mr. Obama’s legacy is on the line in this election. Should Trump win, many of his accomplishments could be in jeopardy; Trump has denounced the Affordable Care Act, the Paris Climate Agreement and the nuclear treaty with Iran to name a few. There is also a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The person appointed to that seat will change the balance of power in the court.
Chelsea Clinton, who introduced the president said, “This is the most consequential election of our lifetime.”
A victory by her mother, she said, would help secure the Affordable Care Act, abortion rights, progress on climate change, and LGTBQ equality—all issues that are important to the Democratic base.
If Mr. Trump wins Michigan, it would be the first time a Republican has captured the state since 1988. That prospect seemed to unnerve all the speakers at the rally.
“Don’t boo,” said Mr. Obama. “Vote.”