Donald Trump has been quite busy on Twitter (in between his tweets attacking Arnold Schwarzenegger for his apprentice ratings), going after automakers who produce vehicles outside the United States and then try to sell them in the U.S.
Many still see Trump’s tweets as just random thoughts, or comments designed to distract media attention from other controversies.
While there is some truth to that, his tweets about automakers serve a clear political purpose – one that should have Democrats concerned.
As Jake Novak writes in a CNBC commentary, “Trump’s attack tweets against different companies may seem pretty random, but look closer. When he calls out Carrier, Ford, GM, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, etc., all of the companies he’s targeting have something in common: They’re either unionized companies or in generally unionized industries.”
The Toyota tweet follows that logic.
Novak goes on to point that Trump was the only Republican candidate who figured out that the traditional economic message pushed by Republicans wasn’t winning over enough people and that more voters were needed for Republicans to have a chance of winning.
“That meant grabbing some of the traditional Democratic core supporters to make up the difference. And doing so meant sounding less like a Republican and more like a protectionist, pro-union Democrat,” writes Novak.
So, Trump is going after companies with many unionized workers, utlizing his Twitter account in a way that will increase his support among union households.
Though this costs him some support among free-market purists in the Republican Party, most of them will support him anyway based on other policies such as business tax cuts.
If Trump keeps Republicans onside, and pulls union voters away from the Democrats, he could consolidate a large base of support, and push states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin into the Republican column for the long-term.
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