OK, we’re not saying that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reads the Michigan Advance every morning. But she was on the same page as our top story when she appeared on national TV on Monday.
“The road to the White House runs through Michigan (so far)” was the column I wrote Monday morning ahead of visits from Democratic presidential contenders U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas). Whitmer appeared with the former and talked on the phone with the latter.
Whitmer also was interviewed on MSNBC about the Mitten State’s importance in the 2020 election.
“Well, I think that the fact of the matter is that all roads to the White House lead through the state Michigan,” the governor said.
Whitmer added that Michiganders are “hardworking people” who just want government to work. She reiterated her invitation for presidential candidates to come to Michigan, as she’s done on Twitter — and included Republicans this time.
“They need to show up,” she said. “Because when you show up, you learn and you develop a platform that speaks to people and I think that’s the key.”
Host Ali Velshi noted that that now-President Donald Trump’s 2016 margin in Michigan was 10,704 votes. He also said that Michigan’s 2018 voter turnout was 58 percent — the highest in 56 years. Whitmer was the top-vote getter for major statewide officials.
Velshi asked Whitmer about U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), who’s promised to sponsor legislation impeaching Trump. Whitmer said she was elected last year on “dinner-table issues.
“If you’re willing to solve problems and have hard conversations and don’t write anyone off in the conversation, you can find common ground and build a majority. And I think that’s what people want more than anything,” Whitmer said. “I didn’t run against Donald Trump two years ago. I ran against water you can’t drink, schools that aren’t performing, roads that are crumbling underneath our cars. This is what the election was all about. And I think that’s what people in Michigan want.”
Whitmer added that there’s interest in Robert Mueller’s federal probe into the Trump campaign, but people’s daily lives are impacted more by issues like clean drinking water.
Velshi asked her about health care and she said that it is “a right” and everyone needs to be covered. She said that there was a bipartisan push to expand Medicaid in Michigan, which “saved a lot of lives.” But Whitmer added that it’s been under attack by the Trump administration — presumably meaning the Affordable Care Act.