Sherrod Brown on Trump pressuring GM: He 'finally woke up'

Sherrod Brown on Trump pressuring GM: He 'finally woke up'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Budowsky: 2020 Dems should debate on Fox Overnight Health Care: How 2020 Dems want to overhaul health care | Brooklyn parents sue over measles vaccination mandate | Measles outbreak nears record MORE (D-Ohio) on Tuesday said that President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report MORE pressuring General Motors over closing a plant in Ohio shows the president "has finally woke up."

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“I’ve been talking to the president about this, he finally woke up and acts like he wants to do something about this," Brown, who recently announced he would not be making a 2020 White House bid, said on CNN's "New Day." 

“I wish it had come earlier,” he added. “There were almost 5,000 people working at Lordstown when President Trump was elected … now the plant’s basically empty."

 

Trump has ramped up pressured on GM since the auto manufacturer shuttered a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, earlier this month.

That closure is part of a larger plan announced by GM in November to close four plants in the U.S. and slash 15,000 jobs.

The Lordstown plant, in particular, has been laying off workers since 2016 as the company shifts away from the SUV produced there.

This weekend, Trump urged GM to reverse its plans and invest in the Lordstown plant, citing America's economic position.

"Because the economy is so good, General Motors must get their Lordstown, Ohio, plant open, maybe in a different form or with a new owner, FAST! Toyota is investing 13.5 $Billion in U.S., others likewise. G.M. MUST ACT QUICKLY. Time is of the essence!" he tweeted Saturday.

Trump then went after a local union boss over the closure, tweeting that United Auto Workers Local 1112 President David Green "ought to get his act together and produce."

Brown defended Green on Tuesday, saying that the union had expressed willingness to accept changes to keep working.

“David Green is right that they can retool, that they can go back to work," the Ohio lawmaker said. "And David Green said something else: that the president has to cancel his tax cut that he gave to these companies.”

Brown argued that the 2017 Republican tax cut was not incentivizing production to stay in the U.S. as it was intended.

Brown also suggested that the president has attempted to intervene now in order to save face, suggesting Trump isn’t truly invested in the issue.

“Not especially,” he said when asked if he trusted Trump on the Lordstown plant issue. “I don't think the president follows it much. His judgment has been so bad. He's only now getting engaged when he thinks he has to. It's not a question of trust, it’s a question of getting him to focus and do the right things.”