Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made a name for herself as a proponent of strict COVID-19 mandates and a frequent foil for former President Donald Trump. As a result of her nationwide prominence, she was on a shortlist of President Joe Biden’s possible running mates before then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) ultimately got the nod.
According to the Republican who hopes to unseat her in November, Whitmer still has her eye squarely on the White House even as she pursues a re-election campaign.
As GOP gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon explained in a recent interview, the governor is “a career politician” and it has “been her MO since day one” to become president.
“She’s taken every job she’s had in state government and started campaigning for the next one before that one was over,” Dixon asserted. “We saw her doing that during the middle of a pandemic. We were all trying to figure out exactly what’s going on, and she’s on national TV every single day campaigning to be vice president of the United States.”
When Biden picked Harris to round out the presidential ticket, Dixon said that Whitmer determined that “the next stage is to go straight toward the presidency.”
While Whitmer’s tough talk and endorsement of harsh COVID-19 mitigation measures earned her some support among fellow progressives, she simultaneously attracted fierce criticism from moderates and conservatives.
Dixon noted that schools in her state “closed longer than almost any other state” during the pandemic, going on to accuse Whitmer of endorsing economic policies that cost Michigan much-needed high-paying jobs.
While Detroit was once the epicenter for the auto manufacturing industry, Dixon said that new factories are continuously being built and expanded elsewhere in America.
“None of them are going into the state of Michigan,” she said. “They’re going into Kentucky. They’re going to Tennessee. They’re even going into Indiana. But they’re not coming to the state of Michigan.”
Dixon has pushed for at least one debate ahead of November’s election and Whitmer has signaled a willingness to oblige. The governor’s campaign suggested that debates would give voters an “opportunity to see the clear contrast between candidates,” though the candidates have not yet agreed on a date.
I look forward to debating @GretchenWhitmer and making her answer for the many ways Michiganders are worse off than they were 4 years ago. Debates must start BEFORE voting begins, not after as Whitmer is demanding. She wants to hide, but the people deserve answers!
— Tudor Dixon (@TudorDixon) August 24, 2022
As the Republican hopeful explained in a press release: “The Dixon campaign is also extending an invitation to the Whitmer campaign to negotiate mutually agreeable dates directly.”