President Trump, Ohio, Steve Inskeep discussed on Morning Edition
I'm Rachel Martin. And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. The president visits Ohio today. This is one of several states vital to his reelection chances. It's a state where he promised residents that industrial jobs would come back, and he's now lashing out on social media after a high profile auto plant closed in Ohio NPR, national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Good morning, Steve. How does the president seemed to view Ohio? It's clearly on his mind a lot. He's been tweeting slamming GM management slamming the union for the closure of that Iconex Chevy Cruz plant in Lordstown, Ohio. He's been demanding that it be reopened or soul to someone who will reopen it after the wall bringing back manufacturing jobs to the rust belt was probably his most important campaign promise, he actually went to Ohio in two thousand seventeen and stood up and said all those jobs that have left Ohio. He said, quote, they're all coming back. Don't move don't sell your house. You can almost imagine the democratic campaign ad that can be made about that. Because it didn't happen. Well, I got a chance to talk to some Lordstown auto workers a couple of months ago, and they were now in that very position of trying to think about could they sell their house. Could they get out of there could they move if they had an opportunity to do that. So sounds pretty bad for the president in this highly symbolic case. But isn't the big picture a little bit better than? This one case would suggest absolutely there's been growth in the manufacturing sector. The problem is that for the president's reelection purposes. People have to feel it in the places that matter the states, he needs to win like, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin. And the irony is that the steel and aluminum tariffs that he's put on have hurt the very rust belt industries that he's trying to revive. Estimates are that Ford and GM have each been hit with a one billion dollar cost from those tariffs and GM even cited the tariffs when it announced the decision to close that Lordstown plant so that is somewhat similar to the side effects of the trade war with China, which is hurt. Farmers people in agriculture workers, which are very red very Republican, very Trumpy. Right. Absolutely. So is there any evidence? Given what you said that his political base that has been so strong for him is abandoning him in any numbers at all. Well, not not in a big way. We did see in the twenty elections some slippage in the mid west the Democrats want a Senate race in Ohio and swept Michigan Pennsylvania, Wisconsin in the elections. That's not necessarily a predictor of twenty twenty. We do know that in Ohio, according to the morning consult poll his approval ratings have dropped nineteen points since he was elected there. Now forty five percent approve fifty one percent disapprove a tiny bit better than nationally. But reelection campaigns are not a referendum on the president alone. They are a binary choice. Oh, and the president will have any number of opportunities to use the bully pulpit as they say and also to make the election about his opponent, whoever that turns out to be. That's right. So the president is not actually going to the Lordstown plant that has closed as he no he's not he's actually going to a plant in Lima Ohio that makes military tanks. I guess that's the one part of the economy. He has a lot of control over military spending. But it also would give him a check. Chance to explain the national security reasons that he put tariffs on steel and aluminum. Okay. We'll be listening for your coverage and the coverage of the rest of the NPR's Mara. Thanks so much. Thank you. That's NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson on Sunday in Thailand that country will hold its first general election since the military seized power in twenty fourteen coup. Few expect the vote to be free or fair. In fact, critics say the election could cement the military's role in politics for decades to come. Michael Sullivan starts his report in Bangkok..