As the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike entered its second week, President Joe Biden made a short and symbolic appearance on the picket line, spending a mere 12 minutes with the striking workers. While some had hoped for a stronger show of support, Biden’s visit left many questioning his commitment to the working class.
President Biden joins the picket line of striking United Auto Workers union members in Michigan — a first for a sitting U.S. president in modern history.
"Folks, stick with it because you deserve the significant raise you need and other benefits," Biden tells the workers. pic.twitter.com/VokZXAdgtq
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 26, 2023
Biden, often nicknamed “Union Joe” or “Lunch Pail Joe,” had presented himself as a champion of blue-collar workers during his political career. However, critics argue that his actions don’t always align with this image. After his brief visit with the UAW strikers, Biden quickly departed for California to attend a fundraiser with big-dollar donors, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
Social media was ablaze with criticism, with one user asking, “What has Corporate Joe Biden ever done for the working-class?” Another accused him of using the UAW picket line as a mere prop and photo-op, a sentiment captured in a screenshot of a disinterested striker.
Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump made his presence felt in Detroit, speaking to auto workers outside a parts supplier. Trump wasted no time in highlighting what he saw as Biden’s questionable blue-collar credentials. He contended that Biden’s hands had been soiled not with honest labor but with foreign money.
Trump’s speech focused on the argument that the UAW’s demands might be irrelevant in the face of the shift to electric vehicles (EVs), which he believed would ultimately cost jobs and damage the economy. He famously declared, “It doesn’t make a damn bit of difference what you get because in two years, you’re all going to be out of business.”
He went on to emphasize his skepticism of Biden’s ability to support American workers, asserting that jobs would be outsourced to countries like China. Trump didn’t miss the opportunity to mockingly mention Biden’s infrequent engagement with blue-collar work, suggesting that Biden’s hands were more accustomed to handling foreign funds.
In the end, Trump’s visit and remarks underscored the ongoing debate about President Biden’s authenticity as a champion of the working class. As the UAW strike continued, the question lingered: does Biden’s blue-collar image hold up under scrutiny?