STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (WOOD) — Hoping to inspire voters to turn Michigan red in a presidential election for the first time three nearly three decades, Republican candidate Donald Trump rallied supporters in metro Detroit Sunday evening.
Trump started by promising the crowd of some 7,000 at Freedom Hill Amphitheatre in Sterling Heights that he would win Michigan and the White House on Nov. 8.
From there, much of his speech focused on the economy and the auto industry, with Trump promising he would stop jobs from leaving Michigan.
“We’re going to bring our jobs back and no more will be leaving,” he said.
He listed companies that had laid off workers and moved the positions elsewhere, blaming “stupid” politicians who “don’t know what to do.”
“It used to be the cars were made in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. Now the cars are made in Mexico and you can’t drink the water in Flint,” he said, referencing the crisis of lead-tainted water there. “We will turn it all around. A Trump administration will stop the jobs from leaving America and we will stop the jobs from leaving Michigan.”
He said automotive companies that outsourced to other nations and then shipped product back to the U.S. would have to pay a 35 percent tax.
He slammed his opponent Hillary Clinton her husband, former President Bill Clinton, saying their economic policies have “bled America dry.” He drew attention to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), calling it “the worst trade deal ever signed by any country ever.” He swore his administration would renegotiate or terminate NAFTA and stop the “job-killing” Trans-Pacific Partnership.
>>Watch: Trump campaigns in Sterling Heights
He hit the Affordable Care Act — more commonly known as Obamacare — citing news that health care premiums are expected to rise next year.
“We’re going to terminate Obamacare so you’re not going to have to worry about it,” Trump told the crowd. “I’m asking for your vote so we can repeal and replace Obamacare and save health care for every family in Michigan and our country.”
He said his opponent wanted to “double down” on the policy.
He weighed in on the news that FBI Director James Comey said the review of more emails to and from Clinton had not changed the agency’s opinion that she should not face criminal charges.
When he brought up Clinton’s name, the crowd chanted what has become a common refrain at Trump rallies: “Lock her up. Lock her up.”
Trump said Clinton was “the most corrupt person ever to seek the office of the United States” and said she was “protected by a rigged system.”
“You can’t review 650,000 new emails in eight days. You can’t do it, folks,” Trump said. “Hillary Clinton is guilty. She knows it. The FBI knows it. The people know it. And now it’s up to the American people to deliver justice at the ballot box on Nov. 8.”
He again promised to “drain the swamp” of what he calls corrupt and dishonest politicians in Washington, D.C.
Trump also spoke out against a plan to increase the number of refugees fleeing war in Syria admitted into the U.S.
“We will suspend the Syrian refugee program and we will keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of country. 100 percent,” Trump said. “A Trump administration will not admit any refugees without the support of the local community where they are being placed.”
He said his administration would put a hold on admitting refugees from “terror-prone” areas “until a full security assessment has been performed and until proven vetting mechanisms have been established.”
TRUMP CITES KENT COUNTY HOMICIDE
Also in reference to immigration, Trump again promised, “We will build that great wall and Mexico will pay for that wall.”
“A Trump administration will stop this nightmare of violence. We will stop illegal immigration, deport all criminal aliens and dismantle every last criminal gang and cartel threatening our cities,” he also promised.
He specifically referenced the death of 31-year-old Karla Guadalupe-Magaña, who was killed in her Wyoming, Mich. apartment two weeks ago. He suspect in that case, 43-year-old Raul Perez, has been deported twice. Trump claimed authorities knew Perez should have been deported, but that he wasn’t because the Obama administration had no mechanism to do so.
Perez was arrested on a drunken driving charge only days before the homicide, but he gave authorities a false name and was soon released. Local and federal authorities disagree on exactly how that happened: The Kent County Sheriff’s Department told 24 Hour News 8 that Immigration and Customs Enforcement should have been automatically notified when Perez’s fingerprints were sent to the state and that while they soon learned he was using an alias, they didn’t know he was in the U.S. illegally until after the homicide. ICE claims it was informed about Perez’s drunken driving arrest hours after he was released from jail.
TRUMP: ‘TWO DAYS FROM CHANGE’
Trump was supposed to speak around 6 p.m., but he didn’t arrive at Freedom Hill until around 7:20 p.m. With the schedule the candidates have been keeping in recent days, however, it would be a stretch to expect him to be on time.
Regardless, the crowd was raucous as they waited, cheering loudly as Michigan Republican Party Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel spoke. Musician and Michigan native Ted Nugent also entertained the crowd for a while before Trump arrived, chatting and playing the guitar.
In the middle of his speech, Trump invited some children wearing T-shirts that together read “TRUMP” and carrying American flags and a Trump banner onto the stage.
“Thank you, kids,” he said. “You see, they understand even better than the adults. They know. They know what’s going to happen. We’re going to make America great again.”
“That’s what we’re fighting for,” he added as the children left the stage.
“We are just two days away from the change you’ve been waiting for your entire life. Because together we will make America wealthy again. We will make America strong and powerful again. We will make America safe again and we will make America great again,” Trump said, concluding with call for his supporters to get out and vote.
In the final hours of Decision 2016, Michigan has become the focus of intense campaigning — more intense than 24 Hour News 8 political reporter Rick Albin has seen in more than 20 years of covering politics in the state.
The obvious explanation is that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s camps have internal numbers that show Michigan could be up for grabs. While speaking in Sterling Heights, Trump referenced a recent poll that put him and Clinton in a statistical dead heat just days leading up to the election.
The lineup of candidates and surrogates in Michigan in the week leading up to the election is staggering: Clinton had two stops in the state and Trump three. Tim Kaine, Clinton’s running mate, was here once, but could add another visit. Mike Pence had five stops planned. President Bill Clinton was in Lansing Sunday and President Barack Obama will be in Ann Arbor Monday. Throw in Chelsea Clinton and three of Trump’s children and Michigan became one of the busiest states in this cycle.
So what is the impact going to be? Both sides hope it drives their voters to the polls in higher numbers than if they left it to individuals to self-motivate. The success of that effort won’t be known until a winner is named.
–24 Hour News 8 political reporter Rick Albin contributed to this report.