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Thaddeus McCotter: Trump’s Trade Policies Remade GOP Base

TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa, Florida, on July 31, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
ROBERT KRAYCHIK

Former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) told Breitbart News that President Donald Trump’s positions on international trade have reshaped the Republican Party’s voter base. He offered his analysis last Thursday in an interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.

McCotter approved of the Trump administration’s challenges to China’s hegemonic ambitions.

“The agenda, in trade — which I think the president is right on — is challenging communist China, who is not our friend,” said McCotter. He described China as “a mercantilist state gutting [America’s] manufacturing industry and putting our people out of work” while violating “the rules of international trade.”

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McCotter stated, “So the president is right on that, but those types of policies were advocated year-in and year-out by many Republicans, not only for the effect on Michigan workers but throughout the entire Midwest and anyone in manufacturing.”

He added, “The Republican Party with President Trump’s coalition is so hard for establishment Republicans to understand, and good, if you can’t understand, there’s nothing you can do about that.”

McCotter continued, “The Never Trumpers are Never Trumpers, and that’s fine. Real people get it. They understand what this administration — what this president — is trying to do to make America great again, and it revolves around empowering people to make their own decisions in an economy that allows them to do so.”

Trump’s prioritization of American workers has driven a partisan political realignment, assessed McCotter. 

“It’s nice to have any president to be able to sit there and prioritize American workers, to prioritize American citizens, and I think that’s what has, in many ways, been missing to a large degree,” remarked McCotter.

McCotter added, “American workers are willing to compete with anyone as long as the playing field is level, and it hasn’t been. A lot of people got rich in a lot of countries, including ours, by making sure that playing field was not leveled,”

McCotter continued, “So to see the President of the United States — who represents all the people of the United States — to be able to take on those interests, and to be able to try to make the playing field acceptable — make the playing field equitable — for all Americans so we can compete, I think that’s very crucial and it’s been something that’s been lacking, and again, it explains why his coalition defies so many Republicans’ understanding of what constitutes a winning coalition.”

Mansour asked McCotter about predictions of economic hardship befalling Americans via Trump’s imposition of tariffs on some China exports from the Trump administration’s critics.

No, the scaremongering hasn’t worked,” replied McCotter. “If you look in the larger context, we’re dealing with countries like communist China that are a mercantilist-based economy that will steal and counterfeit and do everything they possibly can that are outside the rules and traditional norms of countries in their international trade relations. So when you apply tariffs to countries like that, it’s applied to them not because you’re punishing the Americans, but because you’re trying to prevent the harm to the American workers that the unconscionable actions of that communist regime have placed upon your citizens. That’s what that’s about.”

McCotter added, “So when people do not understand that, there’s nothing you can do with people like that. Either they have a vested interest or else they’re just beyond reasonable comprehension at this point of what’s happening between our relations between the two countries.”

Americans are broadly aware of rising economic tides via the Trump administration’s policies, said McCotter. “Who are you going to believe, the media or your own eyes?” he asked. “Believe your own eyes. You’re either working or not. You’re either good or you’re not, and you’ll know that, and no one’s going to convince you any differently. If it’s bad, it’s going to feel bad and you’re going to know it, and no amount of talking points is going to change your mind. If things are good, you’re going to know that too.”

Breitbart News Tonight broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot channel 125 weeknights from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern or 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific.

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.

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