Detroit News Hits Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for ‘Silly Tit-for-Tat’ with President

FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2019 file photo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers her State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich. Whitmer's proposal to significantly increase fuel taxes to fix the roads is paired with …
Al Goldis/AP Photo

An editorial in the Detroit News over the weekend asked whether Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is “acting in the best interests of this state, or on behalf of the Democratic Party” by fighting with the president in a crisis.

The editorial commends Whitmer for her basic performance: “We have no criticism of how Whitmer is handling this crisis; she is taking the same steps as most other governors in states hard hit by the virus.”

However, it raps Whitemer for taking on the role of “designated Democratic attack dog” against the president: “That creates confusion about whether Whitmer is advocating for her Michigan constituents, or carrying out her duties as co-chair of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, or worse, serving her own ambition to be vice president.”

Given that Trump is “petty and vindictive,” the editorial claims, this is “no time to engage in a silly tit-for-tat with the president.” It points to the examples of California Gov. Gavin Newsom and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who had found ways to get along with the president in the crisis despite deep personal and political differences.

The editorial claims, without evidence, that Trump is “not beyond punishing a state whose governor torments him, and has said as much publicly.” In fact, Trump has sent aid to states regardless of criticism from their governors. On Sunday, he criticized Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker after the latter attacked him — but sent requested help, regardless.

However, he has exacted a political price from governors who have used the crisis to attack him, using rebukes on Twitter and from the White House briefing room to retaliate — or, more charitably, to keep everyone on the same page.

On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence said he had spoken to Whitmer and said the administration would make hydroxychloroquine, a possible treatment for coronavirus, available for medical prescription in the Detroit area.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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