Trump criticizes electric vehicles with stark language

In a recent speech, former President Donald Trump used vivid and violent language to criticize electric vehicles, suggesting their promotion could lead to economic disaster.

Lisa Friedman reports for The New York Times.


In short:

  • Trump associates electric vehicles with significant job losses in the U.S. auto industry, using terms like "assassination" of jobs.
  • He proposes a 100% tariff on electric cars manufactured in Mexico, predicting a "blood bath" for the country if he's not re-elected.
  • Experts say Trump's use of graphic language aims to rally his base by invoking strong emotions.

Key quote:

“Because his speech was so disjointed it makes it difficult to know if he was threatening the U.A.W. workers, the U.S. auto manufacturers, or the nation as a whole.”

— Jennifer Mercieca, author of Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump

Why this matters:

Former President Donald Trump’s administration rolled back several environmental regulations and sought to bolster the fossil fuel industry, arguing that such measures were necessary for economic growth and energy independence. While not outright opposing electric vehicles, Trump's policies did not actively promote the EV sector. His administration emphasized deregulation and market-driven solutions, with a focus on maintaining the competitiveness of traditional automotive and energy sectors.

Related: Expanding electric vehicle access will help improve air quality and mobility in low-income communities plagued by environmental racism.

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