Trump campaign beefs up staff, enlists volunteers in Sterling Heights

Cal Abbo
The Detroit News

Volunteers and interns gathered in Sterling Heights on Saturday to learn how they can help reelect President Donald Trump.

At a Trump Victory campaign canvassing and phone banking event,  Kathy Berden, national committeewoman of Michigan for the Republican Party, told volunteers she spoke with Trump personally and "he loves Michigan. ...  He loves our spirit and how we’re coming out for him."

Berden said that while the campaign is disappointed the GOP convention in Jacksonville, Florida, was canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, she believes Trump will still be elected. "We're going to celebrate on inauguration night when he starts his second term," she said.

Kathy Berden, the national committeewoman of Michigan for the Republican Party

Recently, polls have shown Trump losing significantly to Joe Biden in Michigan. An average from RealClearPolitics shows Biden up by eight points. Berden seems unfazed.

"It’s just like 2016 all over again," she said. "The polls were wrong, tremendously so. Everyone I knew was so excited about voting for Donald Trump. I think these are fake polls, skewed polls. I don't know who they're polling."

In the office were cardboard cutouts of Trump and the first lady and all types of merchandise lined the walls. Flags were displayed throughout, and volunteers milled about as the event kicked off.

Though some were hesitant, almost everyone wore masks while indoors unless they were speaking to a crowd. Officials required attendees to wear masks and even provided free ones at the door.

The Trump Victory campaign launched a canvassing and phone banking event Saturday in Sterling Heights.

"There's huge excitement going forward with our president," Berden, who is an organic farmer based in Michigan, said. "These events are all over the state. I was blessed to come to this one today."

Macomb County, where Sterling Heights is located, carried Trump's win in Michigan, according to local campaign officials. In 2016, he beat Hillary Clinton by more than 11 points, and the campaign believes it'll be just as crucial this time around.

Tomorrow marks 100 days until the election,  a special occasion for the event, said Chris Gustafson, Michigan press secretary for the Trump campaign.

Gustafson said the campaign recently made its 4 millionth voter contact in Michigan and has beefed up its staff. In a press release, he wrote that the campaign has over 9,000 active volunteers in Michigan that are "empowered to build their own volunteer networks."

Recently, according to the release, the Trump campaign added 300 field staffers across the country, bringing them to a total of more than 1,500.

Berden said her favorite part about Trump is his engagement and bravado. "He loves the people," she said.

Berden said that her favorite thing Trump has done is reducing the cost of prescription medication. "Going forward, we won't be dependent on China to manufacture our pharmaceutical drugs. Plus it will bring jobs back as well," she said.

According to a press release from the Michigan Democratic Party, the Biden Victory campaign is gearing up for the election as well. The release said the campaign will train more than 1,000 volunteers at virtual events and will host over 100 phone banking events just this weekend.