Trump salutes Carrier, self for saving jobs
President-elect kicks off victory tour
CINCINNATI — President-elect Donald Trump kicked off a high-octane victory tour during his firstpost-election rally Thursday night in Cincinnati.
Trump told the crowd at what’s being called his Thank You tour that he was going to put America first. He also confirmed that he will nominate retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis to lead the Defense Department.
Earlier, he saluted workers, owners and himself at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis, declaring that a deal to keep a local plant open instead of moving operations to Mexico was only the first of many business victories to come in the U.S. with him as president.
Trump’s stop at the heating and air conditioning giant’s plant was his first major public appearance since the election more than two weeks ago.
His speaking style, while less fiery than on the campaign trail, was similar to the stream-of-consciousness efforts of the past year. While focusing on the hundreds of jobs he said he had saved from moving to Mexico, he also found time to talk about his Hoosier state primary performance, former Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight and the wall he has promised to build along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Some questions remain about the extent of the victory at Carrier.
In February, the heating and air conditioning company said that it would shut the plant and send jobs to Mexico, and video of angry workers being informed about the decision soon went viral.
“We’re going to build the wall,” Trump said, repeating his vow to construct an impenetrable southern border. “Trust me: We’re going to build that wall.”
In other recent remarks, President-elect Donald Trump takes a victory lap during a rally Thursday in Cincinnati. he has suggested that he might go for a fence along some portions of the border.
“The Rust Belt is so incredible, but we’re losing companies, it’s unbelievable. Just one after the other,” Trump said to workers at the Indianapolis plant.
“Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences. It’s not going to happen. It’s simply not going to happen.”
During the campaign, he had often pointed to the Indiana plant’s moving plans as a major result of poor Obama administration policies, and he pledged to revive U.S. manufacturing.
Officials said this week that Carrier had agreed to keep some 800 union jobs at the plant, but Trump suggested Thursday that it could exceed 1,100.
Earlier Thursday, Seth Martin, a spokesman for Carrier, said Indiana offered the air conditioning and furnace manufacturer $7 million in tax incentives after negotiations with Trump’s team to keep some jobs in the state.
Chuck Jones, the head of the USW Local 1999 union that represents the workers, said the additional jobs in Trump’s count were previously set to be saved.
The company’s decision is a bit of a reversal, since earlier offers from the state had failed to sway Carrier.
Trump said he personally called Greg Hayes, the CEO of United Technologies, Carrier’s parent, to seal the deal, jokingly asking Hayes, “If I lost, would you have picked up the phone?”
The president- elect threatened during the campaign to impose sharp tariffs on any company that shifted its factories to Mexico. His advisers have promoted lower corporate tax rates as a means of keeping jobs in the U.S
Trump repeated both ide-