Mike Rowe attracted a following as the host of “Dirty Jobs” because his show saluted the working class and highlighted those who do jobs that are far from glamorous.
Rowe is still an advocate for the working class, and he believes Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016 because Trump appealed much more to the working class than either Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton or fellow candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders.
During an interview with The Daily Wire’s “The Ben Shapiro Show: Sunday Special,” Rowe shared a story that highlights Trump’s efforts to help working class individuals.
Rowe said during the run-up to the 2016 campaigns, his CNN program “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” was being bumped from its regular time slot due to expanded campaign coverage. In fact, the show was bumped off CNN completely and was picked up by the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Rowe used the bumping of his show as the background for a request from the candidates to donate an item to be sold for his mikeroweWORKS Foundation that raises money to help grant scholarships to those who want to pursue vocational training.
“I went online and basically said to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders, ‘Nice going, guys. You just got my show booted off the network. I’ll forgive you if each of you will make a donation to my foundation,’” Rowe said. “‘What I’m looking for from you, Bernie, is your — one of those crumpled, you know, suit coats you always wear. Send that to me and I’ll auction it off. Hillary, send me one of your pant suits, right?’ And I said to Trump, ‘Send me one of your bathrobes and an autograph. You know, a bathrobe out here.’”
Rowe said he received no response from Sanders or Clinton.
“Donald Trump sent me an autographed bathrobe,” Rowe said. “He had it hand-delivered to me”
Rowe said he held an auction for the item and it received a winning bid of $18,000.
“I got a lot of heat for wearing a Donald Trump bathrobe. I don’t care; the money went straight to the work ethic scholarship program,” Rowe said. “The moral of the story is he understands who’s watching and he understands what’s happening. I can’t speak to his politics … I don’t need to say anything to get myself in more hot water.
“He sent the robe. Nobody else did, and I really didn’t expect him to. But a deal’s a deal. So I auctioned it off and I thanked him, and the money went to a great cause.”
Rowe said he had spent a lot of time prior to the election in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania and knew from the tone of the working class in those states that Trump would likely win the election. You can bet those who saw that Trump was the only candidate to donate to Rowe’s foundation kept that in mind when it came time to vote.
Rowe remains an advocate for better training of young people to help them land jobs in skilled professions. That’s why he was happy when Trump called for more investment in workforce development and job training during his State of the Union address earlier this year.
Rowe is also a fan of the president’s recent executive order on workforce development, including a “Pledge to America’s Workers” to commit employers to expanding apprenticeships and on-the-job training to help workers of all ages secure stable jobs.
“From the day Barack Obama went in office, I’ve been calling for this exact thing: A PR campaign for good jobs that actually exist, and a genuine focus on alternatives to a four-year education,” Rowe said. But he admits that if he tries to promote vocational training today while wearing a red MAGA hat, “half the country isn’t going to hear me” if they perceive it to be a pro-Trump campaign.
But it is clear that Rowe appreciates the president’s efforts to bring back manufacturing jobs and help those who felt obligated to pursue a four-year college degree — and the high levels of student loan debt that comes with it — realize that there’s a good living to be made with a skilled trade.
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