CHARLOTTE, NC — Democrats were speaking directly to Michigan voters Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention with nearly a handful of speakers who specifically focused on the auto industry.
For one delegate, the message struck a chord, even though he's never worked in an auto plant or for a parts supplier.
"I was in education, but I taught the children of auto workers," said Fred Overeem, a delegate attending the three-day convention in North Carolina. "It touches every part of the state."
Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president; Bob King, president of the UAW; and Austin Ligon, founder and former CEO of CarMax all hit on issues related to the auto industry during Wednesday evening's speeches.
More than 5,000 Democratic delegates are in Charlotte this week to nominate President Obama for a second term. He'll accept the party's nomination Thursday evening at Time Warner Arena.
Michigan is pivotal to President Obama's re-election strategy. Recent polls put the President up by 4 points in the state.
Democrats have hammered hard at Republican nominee Mitt Romney for suggesting the auto industry enter bankruptcy. The claim has been repeated numerous times this week.
"Essentially, Republicans said 'let it die,'" said Overeenm, a Rockford resident. The Democrats' plans for the economy "are much more realistic."