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Eyes on 2024: Biden and Trump circle each other in Michigan

President Joe Biden became the first sitting president ever to appear on a picket line, while Trump travels to Michigan Wednesday.

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More than a year before Election Day, Biden and Trump are facing off in the crucial battleground state of Michigan as they rally with striking auto workers. 

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden became the first sitting president ever to appear on a picket line, telling the striking workers, “You deserve what you earned, and you’ve earned a hell of a lot more than you’re getting paid now,” per NBC News’ Peter Nicholas.

Biden’s visit did draw some criticism, with Steven Rattner, who led President Barack Obama’s auto industry task force, telling Nicholas that the visit was “outrageous,” bucking a president’s traditionally neutral role in strikes. 

Trump is also traveling to Michigan on Wednesday to address striking workers as he skips the second GOP debate. Trump previewed his visit on Tuesday, slamming Biden in a Truth Social post and writing that Biden’s “draconian and indefensible Electric Vehicle mandate will annihilate the U.S. auto industry and cost countless thousands of autoworkers their jobs,” per NBC News’ Jake Traylor.

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain had invited Biden to the picket line, but he told CNN he sees “no point” in meeting with Trump.

“I don’t think the man has any bit of care about what our workers stand for, what the working class stands for,” Fain said, adding that Trump “serves the billionaire class.”

In other campaign news … 

Scott’s test: After struggling to make a splash in the first GOP presidential debate, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott gets another chance on Wednesday to test his “bet that the nice guy won’t finish last,” write NBC’s Ali Vitali and Nnamdi Egwuonwu.

Watching from home: NBC’s Alex Tabet breaks down what some of the candidates who did not qualify for the second debate will be doing as their rivals face off. 

Also watching the debate: Biden’s re-election campaign is planning to use the debate as a “backdrop” for its push to win over Latino voters, NBC’s Allie Raffa reports. 

Trump trial: A New York Judge ruled Tuesday that a civil trial in the state attorney general’s case against Trump can begin next week, ruling that Trump committed fraud and misrepresented his net worth.

On the sidelines: Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin said at an event Tuesday that he does not expect to endorse a candidate in the GOP presidential primary. 

Early state signs: CBS/YouGov polls in New Hampshire and Iowa show Trump holding commanding leads in the GOP primary even as his rivals have focused on the two early primary states. 

First lady turned senator?: New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy is fielding calls for her to run for Senate in 2024, following news that Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., has been indicted on federal corruption and bribery charges, the New Jersey Globe reports. 

Switching gears: Michigan businessman Perry Johnson, who is running a longshot GOP campaign for president, is considering running for an open Senate seat in Michigan, NBC’s Alex Tabet reports. He ran for Michigan governor last year and lost in the primary. 

Back to the drawing board, again: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected another attempt by Alabama to use a congressional map with only one majority-Black district.

He’s running: Tony Thurmond, California’s state superintendent of schools, is running for governor, he announced via social media on Tuesday. He’ll be running to succeed Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is term limited. 

A Bay Area challenge: Daniel Lurie, a non-profit executive and an heir to the Levi Strauss & Co. fortune, announced Tuesday that he would challenge San Francisco Mayor London Breed, a Democrat in the city’s 2024 mayoral election, Politico reports.