Whitmer on whether she'd take VP: 'I didn’t go out looking for the national spotlight'

April 05, 2020, 8:45 AM

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives a lot of non-answers to sticky political questions about things like her newfound status as potential vice presidential pick in a just-released interview with The Atlantic.

Whitmer wears a "That Woman From Michigan" shirt in an interview with the Daily Show. (Photo: Twitter)

Additional non-answers go to whether the coronavirus outbreak has caused her to re-think her support for for-profit health care — which some charge has stymied the U.S. response — and if she should have canceled her rally with Joe Biden on the eve of the March 10 primary, when the state's first two cases emerged.

Whitmer does thoroughly unpack why she publicly wore a tee-shirt featuring a slight from the president. And as usual, she advocates for more federal aid to the state.

Try to read between the lines below.

[Atlantic]: Joe Biden has been talking with a lot of people about what’s going on. One of the things that puts you into the conversation is, of course, you get talked about as a potential running mate for him. He said he’s going to pick a woman. You’re from a swing state. Even aside from that, you’ve generated a lot of national political interest. If he called and asked you to do it, what would your answer be?

Whitmer: Well, I’ll just say this: I am 15 months into my job as governor. I worked for two years to earn the opportunity to have this job. And no one could ever have anticipated that we would be here in this moment. I didn’t go out looking for the national spotlight. I know that the most important thing, where I’m spending all my energy right now, is trying to help my frontline health-care providers and trying to educate Michiganders so that we can slow the spread of COVID-19. I don’t like being attacked in national news. I didn’t go out of my way looking for all of this conversation. I just know that I need assistance and I need to use my voice at every opportunity to try to highlight what’s happening in Michigan so that I can help my nurses and doctors and respiratory therapists who are doing superhero work.

The full transcript and audio of the 15-minute interview are at The Atlantic.

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