Whitmer: Trump is ‘convicted felon’ who wants to win White House ‘to go after his enemies’


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By Michigan Advance

June 11, 2024


MICHIGAN—Calling former President Donald Trump a “convicted felon … running on vengeance and grievance,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told a national television audience Sunday that voters have a “stark choice” this November about who they want to occupy the White House.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Whitmer was asked about comments Vice President Kamala Harris made in Detroit on Saturday, when she called Trump a “cheater” and someone who “thinks he is above the law.” Whitmer, who co-chairs President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign, doubled down on that sentiment.

“Right now, we know that in this country there is a stark choice in front of us between a president who respects the rule of law and a former president who is a convicted felon who wants to use the implements of government to go after his enemies and is running on vengeance and grievance as his platform,” she said. “He is the standard bearer, unfortunately, for the Republican Party in this moment, and this is a high-stakes election.”

Whitmer’s comments were sharper about Trump than those of many elected Democrats who have not emphasized the former president’s 34 felony convictions in a New York court last month.

Also appearing on the show, in a separate appearance, was Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who argued Trump and the GOP were not planning on taking away access to birth control and that Democrats had politicized the issue. Last week, U.S. Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have protected the right to contraception.

“Contraception is something that should be available to women,” said Noem. “Why don’t we support them and give them information and help them?”

Whitmer, however, rejected that characterization, saying the three appointments made by Trump to the U.S. Supreme Court “betrayed their oath of office,” when they voted to invalidate Roe v. Wade and undermine a half-century of legal precedent concerning bodily autonomy.

“We know that there are women in many states who cannot access fundamental health care; cannot make their own decisions about whether and when to bear a child,” said Whitmer. “I think that what we’re seeing out of the Republicans saying that they want to protect this, is disingenuous at best and an outright lie at worst.”

Whitmer also addressed concerns that Robert Kennedy Jr., an attorney and anti-vaccine advocate who will appear on the Michigan ballot this fall, could cost Biden a victory in the battleground state. She said that it was always going to be a close contest, but believes if the campaign does the work, a majority of voters will make the right decision.

“Certainly, Kennedy or any third party candidate, gives me some concern, and it’s to be taken seriously,” said Whitmer. “There are a lot of good, traditional Republicans who don’t feel at home with the convicted felon at the top of the ballot, who know that Kennedy has got lots of far out, kind of wild ideas about science and the future and doesn’t even have the support of his own family. All that being said, we can’t make any assumptions. We’ve got to earn every single vote and that’s what we’re doing.”

Currently, RealClear Polling, which averages seven top national polls, has Trump up by just .3% over Biden in Michigan. However, around this same time in 2020, Biden led Trump by more than 7% in Michigan. Biden won the 2020 election by about a 3-point margin, or 154,000 votes.

READ MORE: Whitmer calls Trump’s comments on border security ‘baloney’

This coverage was republished from Michigan Advance pursuant to a Creative Commons license.




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