Harley-Davidson Just Became Trump’s Worst Nightmare Thanks To New DNC Video

In an unlikely (and exceedingly amusing) turn of events, Harley-Davidson is now vying with Robert Mueller and sharks when it comes to screen time in Donald Trump’s nightmares.

Just weeks after the inauguration, the Wisconsin-based motorcycle maker was trotted out by the new administration as a poster child for American manufacturing – a  quintessential example of iconic American brands.

The President invited executives to the White House for what amounted to a photo op that found Trump and Mike Pence posing by various Harley models and pretending to care about motorcycles.


(Trump and Pence with Harley Davidson executives on the South Lawn of the White House; Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post)

“So it’s great to have Harley-Davidson, what a great, great group of people and what a fantastic job you do”, Trump said at the event, before reminding everyone why they were actually there:

And thank you for all of the votes you gave me in Wisconsin.

But Trump’s relationship with Harley soured late last month when the company announced that due to the expected impact of retaliatory tariffs, some production would be moved overseas in order to ensure unfettered access to the European market.

Although Harley lowered estimates for how large of an impact it expects from the tariffs in 2018 when the company reported second quarter earnings earlier this week, management still sees tariffs levied by the European Union costing it $30-35 million for the balance of the year (down from previous estimates of $30-45 million).

When the company first announced plans to move some production to Europe last month, Trump was beside himself. Over the course of several days, the President attacked the company on Twitter, at one point threatening to impose punishing taxes and suggesting the White House would actively promote Harley’s competitors.

“A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never!”, Trump shrieked, on June 26, before elaborating as follows:

Their employees and customers are already very angry at them. If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end – they surrendered, they quit! The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!

Amid the one-sided war of words, some Harley employees kept the faith, suggesting that Trump was just trying to do what’s best for America.

At one point during his days-long tirade, Trump attempted to cite the company’s plans to close a Kansas City plant as evidence that Harley was already plotting to do something treasonous prior to the tariffs (this effort to blame management has been ramped up of late, with Peter Navarro accusing Harley of “speaking through forked tailpipe” and Larry Kudlow suggesting that management teams are using the tariff excuse to cover up bad execution).

Well now, Democrats have made a video citing that Kansas City plant closure as evidence that Trump’s policies are not, in fact, delivering as promised for the American worker. To make matters worse, the DNC seems to have noticed that Harley announced its intention to buy back some $700 million worth of stock just days after breaking the bad news about the plant closure. Watch this:

That buyback announcement is dated February 5, which means it came less than a week after the following was published in The Kansas City Star:

About 800 workers will lose their jobs when Harley-Davidson Inc. closes its Kansas City motorcycle assembly plant in the fall of 2019

Tuesday’s announcement to investors was a complete surprise to employees, three fourths of whom are represented by one of two unions.

“They didn’t even give us a call ahead of time,” said Joe Capra, directing business agent for Local 778 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers. “It is real devastation for these people who work here and work hard in the Kansas City area.”

The plant’s production is being shifted from the factory near Kansas City International Airport to one in York, Pa.

To be clear, the juxtaposition between the buyback announcement and the layoffs isn’t something that only the DNC noticed. This was front page news months ago, but the fact that it’s now part of a Democratic campaign video suggests that in the months ahead of the midterm elections, the President is going to get hit hard over the record corporate buybacks his tax cuts catalyzed in the first half of 2018.

Unfortunately for the White House, Democrats will also be able to draw on a virtually limitless supply of sad quotables from industrial workers and, worse, from farmers, whose livelihoods are in danger thanks to the trade war.

Who knows, maybe Trump can lean on his new catchphrase which, for those who missed it, is this:


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7 thoughts on “Harley-Davidson Just Became Trump’s Worst Nightmare Thanks To New DNC Video

  1. This would be a lot more effective if the DNC could point to their own past policies (or even currently proposed policies) aimed at helping the Middle Class.

    At this point, I have no more confidence in the DNC “helping the Middle Class” than I do in the RNC. Namely, none.

    1. Seriously? You are trying for the ‘good ole false narrative’ that democrats are the same as republicans? Holy shit dis do you pay attention at all. Who passed a tax cut that gave 84 fucking %%% to corporate America? Which party has been pledged 300-400 MILLION DOLLARS by the Koch brothers to keep the majority in congress? I’ll take my chances with democrats any time over this republican nightmare.

      Fine do no research and keep your head in the sand. Wanted to say somewhere else……….

    2. Thank you for your kind reply.

      It doesn’t address any point but I guess it makes you feel good insulting people.

      But, just to clarify things incase English is not your forte . . .

      At no point do I say Democrats are the same as Republicans. They are two different kind crap and I personally don’t plan on voting for either major party. Actually, for the first time in 46 years, I don’t plan to vote in any election other than local elections.

      You are certainly free to vote for anyone that you think will help you and the country in general.

      When you do, know that some people – people not me – might think of you as having your head in the sand or, as you imply, in some other opening. Me? I’ll be thinking you’ve bought into the narrative that either party (in your case, the DNC) gives a crap about your concerns and that if you’re happy voting for the “lesser crappy of the two parties”, well, that’s just fine; it’s your right.

      Come to think of it, you could have pointed me to policies proposed by the Democratic Party aimed at helping the Middle Class. That might have actually moved me to come over to your side.

      You chose, instead, to use the FoxNews tactic of “other side bad!” that works so well with their viewers.

      Perhaps it might have been more effective if you would have been more insulting and used ALL CAPS and lots of exclamations points. As it is, it just makes me think that you have nothing substantial to offer other than giving me the opportunity to have some practice writing condescending comments that have no hoping of reaching an obviously closed mind.

      1. If you don’t vote you lose and are only left with smugness. While I agree that both parties suck in their own ways, THAT is not a reason to avoid casting a vote. That line of thinking gave us the unnerving cacophony we must endure every-single-day. IMO, anyone that thinks all is just ducks today is a fool.

      2. Believe me when I tell you I’m far from smug. I’m so far from being smug that if I had kids I’d be despondent.

        Get me a candidate I can get behind and trust and I’ll be there voting beside you.

        Barring that, the only recourse is to change things from the bottom up. That means supporting candidates who don’t receive the endorsement of the two parties. It means asking tought questions and challenging the person you support when they step out of line. Let’s face it, by the time any candidate has the support of their party, they’re already compromised and “playing the game”.

        Read the answer I got above . . . I didn’t say what I was accused of. I merely asked to see the DNC’s plan for helping the Middle Class. You know, the kind of question one should ask when one sees an add saying the Middle Class is in trouble. The kind of question people failed to ask for about 17 years now.

        But, that’s the nature of things these days . . . total obedience is expected. Anything else and “you’re one of them!” . . . you know, the evil people on the “other side”.

        In an ideal world, I’d espect the parties to be responsible for keeping their own houses in order, but that’s no longer the world we live in. Point to a wrong-doing and all you get is “oh, yeah?! The other side this the same thing!”

        I am tired of playing that game. Forty-six years is long enough. I won’t live long enough to see it, but if we want things to get better, both parties will have to change. I mean, this would be the perfect time for a viable third party to rise from the muck of the current options, but all that would happen is that the two big dogs would join up to beat it down.

        . . . plus, seriously, for a viable third party to make any inroads requires astute, informed, and critical-thinking voters . . . have you seen what’s out there? And that’s assuming a capable third party. Right now, most third party platforms are comprised of bat-shit crazies or have – at most – one agenda.

        Ah, crap . . . you got me ranting; damaged my calm, you did.

        Look; good luck. Vote for one party or the other. My plan is to ride out what few years I have left, do what I can at the local level, and hope it doesn’t all go to shit before me and mine are gone.

  2. What the tax cuts are showing is that HOG execs, along with most other corporate execs in the US, only want to ponzi up the stock market further to cash in their options and enrich themselves at the expense of the American people’s future. Trump was assured this would happen during Cohn’s interview at the 2017 WSJ CEO’s council, despite that this was a fantastic opportunity for all corporations to do otherwise and give the Fed the opportunity to QT into a very different environment.

    This is what the Bernanke monetary stimulus program has created: an economy that promotes callous public disregard for American citizens whose talents, skills and work ethic matter much, much less than the assets they possess. And so we increasingly have what is tantamount to multi-million dollar Stradivarius violins being held by owners who are capable of making no music whatsoever with them, while the roster of great musicians grows but there are no instruments whatsoever for them to hold. Pathetic.

    Sorry, my support’s going towards tariffs and efforts to reward and foster America’s human potential. If HOG wants to walk away, I’ve got a foot I can offer to kick them on the way out. Good riddance!

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