Donald Trump’s campaign is planning to send a troop of surrogates to represent him at the Republican debate Wedneday while the former president woos auto workers in Michigan.
Former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, senior Trump advisor Chris LaCivita, and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Kevin Cabrera will represent Trump at the debate in California, campaign officials tell Semafor. Other Trump team members will be on the ground with signs and posters promoting the former president.
Lake, LaCivita, and Cabrera are expected to attend both the debate and the spin room afterwards, according to the campaign. Meanwhile, the former president will be traveling with his aides Steven Cheung, Jason Miller, and others to Michigan.
Trump’s jag to Michigan comes amid a United Auto Workers strike and ongoing tensions between the union and Biden, who will appear in the state in support of workers on Tuesday. The UAW has withheld its endorsement of Biden, even as president Shawn Fain has made clear he’s no fan of Trump. But Trump’s team still sees an opening to siphon off votes from rank-and-file union members by attacking Biden over his support for electric vehicles, which some worry could endanger traditional auto-industry jobs.
This is the second presidential debate Trump has brushed off: Ahead of the first debate in Milwaukee, he publicly flirted with the idea of going, and ultimately opted against it. A number of Trump aides attended the first debate instead, sparking some brief drama with Fox News over who would be allowed into the event.
An NBC News poll over the weekend found that the majority of voters are concerned about both Biden and Trump, despite the two being the clear frontrunners for their parties: A combined 74% of those polled had major or moderate concerns about Biden’s mental and physical health, and 62% of voters expressed major or moderate concerns about Trump’s various legal trials.