President Trump to visit Michigan Thursday

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

President Donald Trump will be back in Michigan on Thursday, a day after Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden visits the state.

The GOP president, who's seeking re-election this year, will deliver remarks at 7 p.m. Thursday in Freeland at an airport hangar near Saginaw.

From left, Donald Trump Jr., President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump stand on the South Lawn of the White House on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Washington.

"At this critical juncture, there is no better person to continue to lead our state and our nation forward as we enter the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Laura Cox, chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party. "I am incredibly excited to welcome President Donald Trump back to the Great Lakes State for what is sure to be an incredible event."

Biden's campaign announced earlier this week that the former vice president will visit Michigan on Wednesday. Details about where Biden will be haven't been released yet, but many expect him to stop in Southeast Michigan.

Trump last made a stop in Michigan on May 21, when he visited Ford Motor Co.'s Rawsonville Components Plant.

The two stops next week come as the presidential campaigns focus in on Michigan, a state Trump won by 10,704 votes in 2016. Beating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Trump became the first GOP presidential nominee to carry the state since 1988.

Trump won Saginaw County by 1% of the vote there in 2016 against Clinton. Two years later, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer beat Republican Bill Schuette by about 8% of the vote in Saginaw County on her way to becoming governor.

“A quick fly by can’t fix the four years of chaos and crisis this president has created while Michiganders suffer from his failed leadership," Christian Slater, spokesman for the Michigan Democratic Party, said of Trump's upcoming visit.

During a Michigan-themed fundraiser on Aug. 28, Biden's running mate, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, called Michigan "the main event in this fight."

Also on Aug. 28, Vice President Mike Pence visited Traverse City and said he looks forward to being back in Michigan "again and often."

"Michigan said yes to President Donald Trump in 2016, and I know Michigan is going to say yes for four more years of President Donald Trump in 2020," the vice president said.

The upcoming visits will occur as Michigan remains under a state of emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan has restrictions in place that limit outdoor gatherings to 100 people in much of the state, but there are exceptions for events protected by the First Amendment.

In August, Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee who's from Michigan, predicted Trump would visit the state.

"The president’s going to be back in Michigan," said McDaniel, who then joked, "We’re going to call it a peaceful protest, but we’re going to be there. That way the governor will allow it.”

Pence's campaign stop was also at an airport hangar where about 400 people were allowed into the event. Each attendee had a chair that was distanced a few feet away from others in the crowd.