Whitmer Delivers The Democratic Response To Trump's State Of The Union Address

Feb 5, 2020

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks with reporters, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, at her office in Lansing, Mich., about delivering the Democratic response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address.
Credit AP Photo/David Eggert

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has used Democrats' response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to swivel from impeachment to working-class voters' worries.

Whitmer says Democrats are focusing on making health care more affordable and addressing other concerns.

Democrats' decision to pick Whitmer show that they are focusing on the Midwest, where Trump won surprising victories in 2016 that helped carry him to the White House.

It also represents an attempt to appeal to women, who have been alienated by Trump's conservative stances and whom Democrats are trying to win over. 

Whitmer delivered her 10-minute rebuttal from a high school auditorium packed with invited guests. She took issue with President Trump’s claim of a – quote- “blue collar boom.”  

“Americans are hurting. In my own state. Our neighbors in Wisconsin, and Ohio, and Pennsylvania. All over the country wages have stagnated while CEO pay has skyrocketed.”

It’s true employment in Michigan is very high, but wage growth has slowed. Hiring in manufacturing, construction, and mining has leveled off.  

Economic security is expected to be hotly debated in the industrial Midwest during the 2020 campaign. Trump won Michigan in 2016 by a fraction of a percentage point.