Biden was in Belvidere, Illinois, to help the union mark the end of its six-week strike that resulted in record pay agreements with Stellantis NV, General Motors Co., and Ford Motor Co.
His speech quickly grew chaotic with a heckler yelling at him, a member of the media falling off the press platform, and attendees shouting for Trump to be jailed.
President Joe Biden putting on a United Auto Workers t-shirt
As the president took to the podium to begin his remarks, a heckler yelled: ‘President Biden you need to call for a ceasefire in Gaza!’
Her protest came as Israel agreed to begin daily four-hour humanitarian pauses in its assault on Hamas in northern Gaza as part of an effort to get hostages out, which the White House announced early Thursday.
The woman was escorted out by security, as attendees booed her and chanted, ‘Let’s go, Joe.’
Biden told the crowd ‘Let her go … it’s OK.’
Later, the president’s speech was interrupted by a loud bang in the audience. A member of the media tripped and stumbled off the press riser, a raised platform were journalists stand to watch the president’s remarks.
‘You ok?,’ Biden said, adding: ‘I want the press to know that wasn’t me.’
The president walked out to thunderous applause and was given a red UAW t-shirt by Matt Frantzen, UAW Local 1268 president.
Biden took off his suit jacket and then struggled to put the t-shirt on over his dress shirt. Frantzen helped him get it smoothed down.
‘That shirt looks good on you!’ a man in the audience shouted.
‘I’ve worn this shirt a lot, man,’ Biden replied. ‘I’ve been involved in UAW longer than you’ve been alive, man.’
Matt Frantzen, UAW Local 1268 president, helps Biden put on the t-shirt
In his remarks, Biden touted his long support for auto workers and took several jabs at Trump, who is leading the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
The UAW, a powerful union, hasn’t endorsed yet in the 2024 election. Both Biden and Trump have been courting the auto workers.
‘Here’s the difference, when you were in the middle of a fight, I stood and others stood with you shoulder to shoulder on that picket line. My predecessor went to a non-union shop and attacked you. I hope you guys have a memory,’ he said.
‘When my predecessor, the distinguished — anyway,’ Biden said, and did sign of cross. He noted six autos factories closed while Trump in office.
He also made a rare mention of Donald Trump by name – he usually calls the former president ‘my predecessor.’
‘Donald Trump often says we’re now quote a failing country – a nation in decline,’ he said.
It caused members of the audience to heckle Trump and call for him to be put in jail.
‘Put him in jail’ and ‘Jail Trump,’ was shouted by members of the crowd.
Biden also met with union president Shawn Fain privately during his Illinois trip. The UAW president has said he wants to use momentum from their strike victory to target non-union manufacturers such as Tesla and Toyota.
The president said he supports such a move.
‘I want this type of contract for all autoworkers,’ Biden said in his remarks.
In September, Biden traveled to Detroit to stand on the picket line with auto workers
Donald Trump, while in Detroit in September, addressed supporters at a non-union shop
In September, Biden joined striking auto workers on the picket line and supported their bid for a 40% pay raise.
Both men are working to win over blue-collar voters in the critical battleground state. Trump won Michigan in the 2016 election, beating Hillary Clinton. But Biden took it back for Democrats in 2020, beating Trump.
Both Biden and Trump are working to appeal to working-class votes: Biden emphasizing his Scranton roots and longtime ties to unions and the middle class; Trump promising to resurrect dying manufacturing towns and blasted global trade deals.
But while Biden marched the picket line, Trump spoke to supporters at Drake Enterprises, a non-unionized auto parts supplier about a half-hour outside Detroit.
The former president took some heat for going to a non-union operation and for the fact his speech is invitation-only.
His campaign said Trump is fighting to protect all middle-class jobs, not just those of union members.
‘President Trump is fighting to protect the jobs of all working middle-class voters in Michigan, union and non-union alike. Joe Biden meanwhile wants all working middle-class voters in Michigan, union and non-union alike, to transition to the unemployment line,’ Trump adviser Jason Miller said.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk