Skip to content

Trump defends ‘bloodbath’ rally comment as reference to foreign auto imports after outrage

TOPSHOT - Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a Buckeye Values PAC Rally in Vandalia, Ohio, on March 16, 2024. (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP) (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images) TOPSHOT-US-VOTE-POLITICS-TRUMP

Former President Donald Trump insisted Monday his ominous comment predicting a “bloodbath” if he loses the November election to President Biden was a direct reference to the threat his opponent poses to the US auto industry — and not a warning of violence by his supporters.

Trump, 77, hopped on Truth Social to defend his statement at a Saturday rally in Dayton, Ohio, that there would “be a bloodbath for the country” if he didn’t win a second non-consecutive term and impose foreign auto tariffs.

“The Fake News Media, and their Democrat Partners in the destruction of our Nation, pretended to be shocked at my use of the word BLOODBATH, even though they fully understood that I was simply referring to imports allowed by Crooked Joe Biden, which are killing the automobile industry,” the 45th president posted on his account.

“The United Auto Workers, but not their leadership, fully understand what I mean. With the Electric Car Mandate being pushed by Biden, there soon won’t be any cars made in the USA – UNLESS I’M ELECTED PRESIDENT, IN WHICH CASE AUTO MANUFACTURING WILL THRIVE LIKE NEVER BEFORE!!! MAGA2024.”

The Biden re-election campaign fired back that the former president “wants another January 6” — and is out of step with voters who “continue to reject his extremism, his affection for violence, and his thirst for revenge.”

“This is who Donald Trump is: a loser who gets beat by over 7 million votes and then instead of appealing to a wider mainstream audience doubles down on his threats of political violence,” spokesman James Singer said in a statement.

Media outlets also highlighted the comment, but many noted it was made in reference to domestic auto manufacturers’ ability to sell cars.

“We’re going to put a 100% tariff on every single car that comes across the line, and you’re not going to be able to sell those cars if I get elected. Now, if I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a bloodbath for the whole — that’s going to be the least of it,” Trump thundered at the rally.

United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain endorsed Biden, 81, during the group’s annual conference in Washington in January, denouncing Trump as a “scab” and “company man” who would be “trying to squeeze the American worker” if he “ever worked in [an] auto plant.”

Trump fired back in a Truth Social post that Fain was a “‘STIFF’ who is selling the Automobile Industry right into the big, powerful, hands of China,” which announced that month it had become the top car exporter in the world.

“He bought into Biden’s ‘vision’ of all Electric Vehicles, which require far fewer workers to make each car but, more importantly, are not wanted in large numbers by the consumer, and will ALL be made in China,” he added.

Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency proposed last year that two-thirds of cars sold in the US be entirely electric by 2032. The UAW has called on its members to oppose that proposal while also demanding higher tariffs for foreign auto imports.

Biden, who claims he is “leading the most pro-union administration in American history,” became the first president to join a picket line when he visited UAW workers outside Detroit in September who were striking against the top three US auto manufacturers — General Motors, Ford and Stellantis — for a 40% pay raise and a 32-hour workweek.

Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency proposed last year that two-thirds of cars sold in the US be entirely electric by 2032. The UAW has called on its members to oppose that proposal while also demanding higher tariffs for foreign auto imports.

Rank-and-file members, however, have voiced support for Trump. One union member on the picket line who fist-bumped Biden suggested he was considering casting his ballot for Trump in opposition to Biden’s electric vehicle mandate, the BBC reported.

The former president signed the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement in 2020, which raised auto tariffs from levels previously set under the 1992 North American Free Trade Agreement — but in January, the UAW said the Trump-era legislation didn’t “go far enough.”

The union has more than 391,000 active members and more than 580,000 retired members in the US, making it the largest domestic auto union and a prime target for presidential hopefuls in heavy manufacturing states such as Michigan, which Trump won in 2016 before losing it to Biden four years later.

However, Trump was supported by at least 40% of households with at least one family member belonging to a labor union in 2020, according to New York Times exit polls, the highest of any Republican candidate since Ronald Reagan.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) on Monday also urged Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to investigate whether the Biden administration’s EV mandate poses a national security threat due to “China’s predatory EV trade practices,” which include manufacturing cars in Mexico that are later sold into the US.

Banks, who is running for the US Senate in November, called on Raimondo to make use of Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, which Trump invoked in 2018 to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, according to a copy of the missive first reported by Politico.

“Joe Biden staked America’s national security and our entire auto industry on the success of his EV transition, and right now China is eating our lunch,” Banks said in a statement.

Today's News.
For Conservatives.
Every Single Day.

News Opt-in
(Optional) By checking this box you are opting in to receive news notifications from News Rollup. Text HELP for help, STOP to end. Message & data rates may apply. Message frequency varies. Privacy Policy & Terms:
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.