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Image: United Auto Workers Hold Limited Strikes As Contract Negotiations Expire
United Auto Workers members strike at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant on Sept. 16, 2023 in Wayne, Mich.Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

Eyes on 2024: Strike stakes for Biden and Trump

The ongoing autoworkers strike has ripple effects in the presidential race and the open Senate race in Michigan.

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The United Auto Workers strike has presented a political challenge for both President Joe Biden, who has pledged to be “the most pro-union president” in history, and former President Donald Trump, who helped bring more union members into the GOP fold.

Biden said Friday that “no one wants a strike,” but added, “I respect workers’ right to use their options under the collective bargaining system,” per NBC News’ Peter Alexander and Rebecca Shabad. The White House is also planning to send a team, including White House adviser Gene Sperling and acting Labor Secretary Julie Su, to Detroit early this week to help resolve the standoff, NBC News’ Monica Alba, Jesse Kirsch and Will Ujek report.

Trump, meanwhile, criticized union leadership and said the push for electric cars will drive vehicle production out of the U.S. and into China. 

“The auto workers are being sold down the river by their leadership, and their leadership should endorse Trump,” Trump told “Meet the Press.”

The Detroit News reported over the weekend that Trump was planning to visit the picket line, but the campaign told NBC News’ Jake Traylor that no visit is on the former president’s schedule. 

Republicans are also hoping the strike could give them an opening in Michigan, a top presidential battleground that’s also hosting an open Senate race next year. The GOP is monitoring the strike and weighing using the standoff to highlight Democrats’ clean energy policies, per Politico.

In other campaign news…

Trump talk: Special counsel Jack Smith requested a narrow gag order for Trump in the election interference case, writing that Trump “has an established practice of issuing inflammatory public statements targeted at individuals or institutions that present an obstacle or challenge to him.” Trump gag order, per NBC News’ Ryan J. Reilly and Daniel Barnes

Hunter headache: Some people close to Biden are concerned his son Hunter’s legal troubles “could divide his attention at a time when he needs to be fully focused on what’s expected to be a razor close election,” write NBC News’ Mike Memoli, Carol E. Lee and Monica Alba. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also said Friday that Biden would not pardon Hunter if his son is convicted on federal charges. 

Democratic divide: The New York Times delves into the divide between Democratic Party leaders, who have lined up behind Biden, and the party’s voters, who have been hesitant to support the president and voiced concerns about Biden’s age.

DeSantis leans in: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is escalating his criticism of the federal government’s Covid shot policies as he tries to draw a contrast with Trump, per the Washington Post. 

Haley on the trail: Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has continued to flex her foreign policy credentials on the campaign trail in Iowa, NBC News’ Alex Tabet and Greg Hyatt report. The Washington Post also delves into Haley’s electability case

Vivek’s take: Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy told Politico he plans to “gut” a temporary visa system for foreign workers, which his former company used more than two dozen times. 

Pipeline politics: GOP presidential hopefuls are being confronted with questions about proposed carbon dioxide pipelines in Iowa as they campaign in the Hawkeye State, forcing them “to strike a delicate balance among protecting landowners’ rights, supporting the ethanol industry and demonstrating an understanding of the critical role agriculture plays statewide,” write NBC News’ Jillian Frankel and Alex Tabet.

Arrest in L.A.: A man armed with a loaded gun was arrested outside of a campaign event for Democrat Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Friday in Los Angeles, per NBC News’ Katherine Koretski and Lindsey Pipia.

Debate drama: Louisiana gubernatorial candidates, including GOP frontrunner Attorney General Jeff Landry, the state’s attorney general, and Democrat Shawn Wilson, clashed in a Friday debate over issues such as abortion and police brutality, per the Associated Press.

Running it back: Ohio Democrats are trying to build on last months’ ballot referendum victory as they look to rally voters to adopt a constitutional amendment codifying abortion protections, NBC News’ Megan Lebowitz reports

Virginia is for fundraisers: The Washington Post reports that Democratic candidates for Virginia’s state legislative races outraised Republican ones, although Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s strong fundraising is boosting his party ahead of Election Day.