Trump's Trip to Harley-Davidson Cancelled Over Potential Protests
According to reports on CNN and Fox News, President Donald Trump had his plans to visit the Harley-Davidson manufacturing facility in Milwaukee cancelled over the potential of a major protest.
According to the reports, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company chose to pull the plug on a previously scheduled tour which was also, according to CNN, going to be the symbolic location of the signing of an executive order “related to American manufacturing.” This surprise event was supposed to take place on Thursday February 3, until the plan was apparently leaked to anti-Trump supporters within the state. And that's when all hell broke loose.
Apparently, this didn’t sit well with a large number of locals who are part of the Milwaukee Coalition Against Trump. That group rallied its troops and, according to its official statement, made it known they would be out in force to protest against the president’s tour.
All of this feels very similar to the incident where Kawasaki pulled out of its advertising deal with the New Celebrity Apprentice, supposedly because of Trump's involvement with the show. In both cases the motorcycle manufacturer in the hot seat seems to discount the statements made by the reporting news agency. If nothing else, Trump’s arrival has shaken things up during an otherwise boring start to 2017.
Harley-Davidson was quick to issue a statement that denies there was ever a tour scheduled. This is contradicted by the same CNN report that claims it was informed that White House staff members were already on the ground in Milwaukee, making preparations for the billionaire businessman-turned president to make his first big appearance outside of D.C. since taking office.
We have to admit, it doesn't seem that farfetched if, in fact, this event was supposed to have taken place. Both White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan are Wisconsinites, and the two are thought to be very influential within Trump's circle. They may have seen the visit as good PR for all involved.
Meanwhile, the H-D statement contradicts the statement issued by the Milwaukee Coalition Against Trump. MCAT believes it has forced Harley-Davidson to call off the visit. You can decide for yourself how this all went down after reading the article on CNN, and the statements from both H-D and MCAT.
Here is the official statement from H-D as featured in the CNN story from Tuesday night: According to Maripat Blankenheim, director of Harley-Davidson’s corporate communication: “We do not have a scheduled visit with the president this week at any of our facilities. We are proud to have hosted Presidential visits at our facilities. Three of the last five presidents — Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton — have visited us at our facilities. These visits are a testament to the pride and passion of our employees and their great work building Harley-Davidson motorcycles. We look forward to hosting the president in the future.”
Meanwhile, MCAT says: “The Milwaukee Coalition Against Trump is thrilled that Trump has been forced to cancel his visit to Milwaukee, one of his first press events outside of Washington D.C. Fearing a massive protest, Trump was forced to cancel his event after a massive backlash from the community over his scheduled appearance at Harley-Davidson. The location of Trump’s event, which was supposed to remain secret, was leaked by activists and a rally was planned outside the Harley-Davidson plant in Menomonee Falls. Thousands of people from all walks of life were prepared to protest Trump’s visit and condemn his hateful speech and policies. The Milwaukee Coalition Against Trump organized a call-in protest to Harley-Davidson that resulted in a denial from Harley-Davidson, followed by an announcement from the White House that the trip was cancelled. Trump’s unpopular policies have ignited an unprecedented resistance movement that will block his every move. We hope our success in Milwaukee sets the tone for the rest of Trump’s Presidency, wherever he goes, there will be resistance!”
As you can imagine, comments and debate have been pretty lively on the official Harley-Davidson Facebook page.