Michigan GOP chair flames Snyder ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ for endorsing Biden

Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder at the press preview of the 2014 North American International Auto Show January 14, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Rick Snyder, Michigan’s GOP former two-term governor who signed the landmark Right to Work law, hasn’t even been out of office for two years before the head of the state Republican Party started taking shots at him.

Laura Cox — the former state representative whose husband, former Attorney General Mike Cox, lost to Snyder in a heated 2010 GOP primary — took to Twitter Thursday morning to torch Snyder for endorsing Democrat Joe Biden over President Donald Trump. Snyder sat out the 2016 presidential race, while occasionally criticizing Trump on civility grounds, unlike dozens of high-profile Republicans who endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Cox rhetorically asked if “1 MI voter cares who he would support” for president and dismissed Snyder as “Mr. Irrelevant” before promising Trump would win Michigan again in November.

Snyder wrote an op-ed in Thursday’s USA Today titled, “I am a Republican vote for Biden.” The subhead treaded on familiar ground for the Republican, who served from 2011 to 2019: “Donald Trump is a bully who lacks a moral compass. Joe Biden would bring back civility.”

His announcement was heralded by several Dems on social media, including former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, whom he succeeded.

Snyder started out with an anecdote about celebrating his “18th birthday at the 1976 Republican National Convention as part of Gerald Ford’s national youth group” and called himself a “lifelong Republican,” even though he reportedly initially considered an independent bid for governor and was a “founding champion” of the centrist think tank, the Center for Michigan, which began operating the publication Bridge Magazine during his tenure.

The former governor goes on to pledge, “I will continue to support and stand up for Republican policies and values, and support Republican candidates, but I will not support Donald Trump for reelection.”

Snyder turns down Harvard fellowship, citing ‘lack of civility’

Snyder did a callback to his “One Tough Nerd” slogan, writing about Trump: “Being a bully and being strong are not the same thing. Being strong is standing up for your convictions. Being a bully is trying to intimidate those who are perceived to be weaker or a threat. As a proud nerd, I had to deal with bullies over many years; it is tragedy watching our world suffer from one. In addition, President Trump lacks a moral compass. He ignores the truth.”

Snyder is best known for presiding over the Flint water crisis, which abruptly put an end to chatter that he could run for president in 2016. Last year, he was offered a fellowship at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, but he ended up turning it down after the ensuing backlash.

Several Michigan Republicans have endorsed Biden over Trump, including: former U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz (R-Battle Creek), former U.S. Rep. Dave Trott (R-Commerce Twp.), Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor, former state Rep. David Maturen and former Michigan GOP Chair Jeff Timmer, who has written columns for the Advance.

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Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.