Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer will be one of two Democrats to deliver the rebuttal to President Trump’s State of the Union address on Feb. 4, according to an announcement from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Friday morning.
“Since day one, Governor Whitmer has rolled up her sleeves to get things done for the people of Michigan,” Pelosi said in a public statement Friday morning. “She’s a forward-looking leader who is laser-focused on solving problems for everyday Michiganders and is uniquely qualified to deliver Democrats’ message of progress for all Americans.”
In a tweet Friday morning, Whitmer expressed her excitement about delivering the Democratic response in less than two weeks.
“Thrilled to have the opportunity to deliver the Democratic Response to the State of the Union,” Whitmer wrote. “Democrats are laser-focused on building a stronger country, and this is an opportunity to show the American people that we are getting things done for them and for future generations.”
Since her election in November of 2018, Whitmer has advocated for progressive policies in Michigan, targeting workplace discrimination, bolstering education spending and combating poverty. Whitmer, a popular governor in a state President Trump won by a less than 1 percent margin in 2016, also gained national attention last month after being placed on a Washington Post list of likely running mates to the eventual Democratic presidential nominee.
Lavora Barnes, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, stressed that Whitmer’s policies are indicative of growing progressive sentiments in Michigan.
“Her whole career, Governor Whitmer has been a fierce leader who has always stood on the side of Michigan’s working families,” Barnes said in a Friday press release. “I’m so proud she has been chosen to take a stand and highlight how Donald Trump’s broken promises have devastated our state. Governor Whitmer was critical to our party’s success up and down the ballot in 2018, and I look forward to working with her this year as we fight to beat Donald Trump, re-elect Gary Peters to the Senate, and turn every corner of Michigan blue.”
In response to the announcement, Michigan Republican Party Chair Laura Cox issued a statement criticizing the governor.
“Governor Whitmer has failed to prove herself to Michiganders,” Cox said. “From our crumbling roads she promised to fix, to holding Michigan’s most vulnerable communities hostage for a massive gas tax, it is only fitting that she is joining in on the same D.C. parlor games the people of our state resent. The governor broke every promise she made on the campaign trail. She’s had ample time to make a difference for our state, but her past year in office has been nothing more than photo-op’s and sound bites. Ultimately, Gretchen Whitmer’s decision to side with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi makes it that much easier to give our state a new governor in 2022.”
In addition to Whitmer, U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, will deliver the Spanish language response to President Trump’s address.