Governor Gretchen Whitmer Previews the Democratic Rebuttal of SOTU

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she plans to focus on and draw contrast to “Republican inaction” in tonight’s rebuttal to the State Of The Union speech.

“At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what people say. What matters is what we do,” Whitmer said at a press conference in Lansing. “So when the president speaks tonight, I’m not going to focus so much on what he says; I’m going to be focusing on actions that have been taken, actions that are happening across the country, especially in Democratic-led states, that create a stronger, more sustainable future for our kids and all Americans.”

The rebuttal for the Democrats will take place at East Lansing High School where her daughters attend. She says she plans to talk about “dinner table issues” like infrastructure, jobs, and health care access, citing the bills the Democrats have passed in the House only to sit on the desks of inactive Republicans in the Senate, gathering dust.

“This is really about ensuring that the American people understand what Democrats stand for because I believe that American people deserve better and they deserve action,” Whitmer said. “They deserve leaders who are going to work for them, who want excellent schools and paths to good jobs, safe roads, clean drinking water and affordable, accessible, quality health care. That’s what Democrats are rolling up their sleeves and working on around the country and that’s what I’m going to stay laser-focused on tonight.”

Whitmer said that when Speaker Pelosi asked her to give the rebuttal, Pelosi advised her to give “a vision for America” from the Democratic perspective. Whitmer said when she agreed to give the speech that she wasn’t considering what it might mean for her career. She says she isn’t interested in a Washington career, and that she suggested her former friend Stacy Abrams as a vice-presidential candidate.

She acknowledged that her selection for the rebuttal was due in part to the relevance of Michigan in the upcoming election. Trump won Michigan in 2016 by a thin margin, the first time a Republican candidate for president had done so in decades.

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