Was Trump’s Speech In Detroit A Turning Point For His Campaign?

“Maybe Donald Trump didn’t change any minds, but he changed the conversation,” says MPRN’s Rick Pluta.

Laura Weber Davis/WDET, Rick Pluta/MPRN

Donald Trump was on-script on Monday during his Detroit Economic Club speech at Cobo Hall. He gave us the closest thing we’ve heard yet to a policy speech, calling for lower taxes and fewer regulations. And he stressed his proposal to re-negotiate trade deals to be more favorable to the U.S.

In many ways, the speech was unlike any we’ve seen from Trump to date. But it was also very familiar in a couple of ways. It was frequently interrupted by protesters. And — as usual — fact-checkers had a field day, pointing out numerous mischaracterizations and falsehoods.

Could this be a turning point for Trump’s campaign? Can he stay this scripted between now and November? And does it make a difference for voters? Have voters changed their opinions about Trump after yesterday? For middle-of-the-road Republicans, does it ease their concerns about his temperament or electability?

“I don’t know that this speech on its own would change anyone’s minds about Donald Trump,” says Rick Pluta, the capitol bureau chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network.

“But he changed the conversation,” he continues. “You look at the headlines today, you listen to what was being talked about on the television and the radio news, it was Donald Trump’s ideas about the economy, and not the way that he treated a gold star family… People were actually talking about Donald Trump’s policy ideas in a serious way.”

Numerous protesters were escorted out of the venue after disrupting the speech a number of times in regular intervals. One of those protesters was Sugar Law Center attorney and former state representative Rashida Tlaib, a prominent Democrat from Detroit. Tlaib, who’s formed a group called Moms Against Trump, also joins Detroit Today to talk about the event.

“I got up to say, ‘Our children deserve better.’ And I actually said, ‘Please stop. Stop the rhetoric,” says Tlaib. “Just, as a Muslim, my son’s growing up Muslim in America and not telling people that he’s Muslim. And I’m like, why?”

To hear the full conversation, click on the audio player above.


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