Governor Gretchen Whitmer says it was “mind-boggling” to be asked to deliver the Democratic response to President’s State of the Union speech next week.
But, in an exclusive interview, she is telling 6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick that she will not tossing any political bombs at the president.
The governor was doing what governors do: Getting ready for her State of the State, writing a new state budget and then her chief of staff gave her a heads-up that she about to get a call from the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with an unexpected request.
Pelosi wanted the Michigan governor to give the Democratic State of the Union response.
Skubick: “Your first thought was?”
Gov. Whitmer: “It was mind-boggling, to be honest. Needless to say it was never anything that I thought about. When Speaker Pelosi called, you had to do what the Speaker wanted and it’s an honor.”
Speaker Pelosi told the governor she had ten minutes to respond to the president and could say whatever she thought was important.
For those angry Democrats who want her to blast away at the president, the governor says she will not.
“I am going to lay out a Democratic agenda of what we should be doing in this country for the people,” explains the governor. “Our country is so divided.”
Skubick: “So you’re not going to go after the president?”
Gov. Whitmer: “No. We need to focus on issues that the citizens are concerned about and that’s what I will stay focused on.”
But the governor knows this president is unpredictable and he could say something she needs to comment on and if so, she will.
“It’s very unpredictable,” she explains. “I will have my message but if he says something that needs a response, I need to be nimble and I will respond to that, too.”
And the governor is ready to respond after her moment on the national stage to those Democrats who think she would make a great vice presidential candidate. The governor views that as a distraction from her state job.
Skubick: “You said last September you are not interested in vice president. That stands?”
Gov. Whitmer: “Yes.”
Skubick: “It has not changed?”
Gov. Whitmer: “No.”
Skubick: “And it wont change?”
Gov. Whitmer: “Correct.”
That takes care of that speculation, she hopes.