Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has made quite a few headlines of late, and is on the list of potential running mates of presumptive Democratic nominee for president Joe Biden. Here are the first four facts you need to know about Gov. Gretchen Whitmer:
Fact #1: Whitmer is the governor of Michigan
For those who haven’t heard of Whitmer before, she is currently serving as the governor of Michigan. She was elected governor in 2018, winning 53 percent of the vote in the general election, according to the office of the governor.
Whitmer studied law at Michigan State University prior to joining the state legislature. In 2000, she was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives, and in 2006, she was elected to the state Senate as the Democratic Leader.
Fact #2: Whitmer’s coronavirus policies are controversial
Whitmer has made headlines most recently for her handling of the coronavirus outbreak in her state. Michigan residents protested at the state capitol on April 15 over Whitmer’s strict stay-at-home orders, and Whitmer threatened to extend the order even further as a result.
WATCH: Gov. Whitmer tells @Maddow that Wednesday’s protest at Michigan’s Capitol is the “kind of irresponsible action that puts us in this situation where we might have to actually think about extending stay-at-home orders, which is supposedly what they protesting.” pic.twitter.com/WxVtTVEeia
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 17, 2020
Many residents felt the governor was infringing on their constitutional rights, and believed Whitmer’s ban of certain non-essential activities took things too far.
Several sheriffs across the state also refused to enforce restrictions detailed in Whitmer’s executive orders, and the state legislature even met to create an oversight committee to examine Whitmer’s potential overreach.
On March 24, Whitmer threatened local licensed medical prescribers and dispensers with “administrative action” if they used hydroxychloroquine to help coronavirus patients. But as reports began to surface that the drug could be helpful, Whitmer’s administration started to explicitly request it.
President Donald Trump has made his feelings about Whitmer’s actions during the pandemic clear. On March 17, he tweeted that she was “failing;” on April 17, he tweeted “LIBERATE MICHIGAN;” and on May 1 he said the governor “should give a little.”
Fact #3: Whitmer hasn’t made good on some key policies
Michigan has been riddled with infrastructure problems over the last decade, including the Flint water crisis in 2014 and roads that are so bad a 12-year-old boy named Monte Scott took to filling potholes himself just last year.
Gov. Whitmer has gone so far as to call young Scott proof that the Democrats are making a difference in the infrastructure of the state.
Whitmer has stated that she strives for all Michigan residents to have clean and affordable drinking water. But that has yet to be achieved, as Michigan continues to experience water problems.
In 2018, every public school in Detroit had its drinking water cut off for fear of potential lead and copper contamination.
A U.S. Representative from Michigan told The Hill in January of last year that the water still wasn’t safe. In January, Michigan Radio reported the city believed it could take until July 2020 to have all the lead water lines replaced.
Whitmer is also notoriously pro-choice.
Last month, as restrictions were placed on elective surgeries and more in light of the coronavirus, the governor told political analyst and former White House advisor David Axelrod that she doesn’t consider abortion to be an elective procedure, instead arguing it is “life-sustaining.”
Fact #4: Whitmer does not want to be VP
Joe Biden told MSNBC host Brian Williams on March 31 that he was considering Whitmer as his running mate.
How many names are on @JoeBiden‘s potential VP shortlist? The former vice president joins us for an in-depth conversation tonight at 11PM ET.
— 11th Hour (@11thHour) March 31, 2020
“Governor Whitmer is an outstanding governor. She is one of the most talented people in the country in my view,” Biden said while introducing her on his podcast, “Here’s the Deal,” on April 3.
“She also is a supporter. She was also a co-chair of my campaign. She’s a good friend, but she has been laser-focused, laser-focused on delivering for her state.”
While Whitmer has made Biden’s vice presidential list, the governor has said she will help Biden find a running mate, but will not fill the position herself.
“I’m going to help him vet and make sure he’s got a great running mate. It is not going to be me,” she said, according to The Detriot News.
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