THE VICE PRESIDENT: Greetings, everyone. I am so honored, as I’ve always been, to share a stage with Gretchen Whitmer. And she and I have shared many stages over a great amount of time through the — some of the highs and the lows of what our country has experienced. And I will tell you what I know you all know, as longstanding friends and supporters of hers: She’s an extraordinary, courageous, brilliant, committed leader not only for Michigan, but she is a national leader.
And I was with the President this morning in the Oval Office for a couple of meetings, and I said, “I’m heading to Detroit,” and he said, “Give Gretchen all my best and remind everyone of what you and I…” — meaning he and I — “…have talked about,” which is the President and I stand with Gretchen Whitmer. We stand with her. (Applause.) And we will continue to stand with her.
Her leadership has been the leadership during some of the most difficult times our country could imagine — extraordinary — during this pandemic where we saw an incredible loss of life, a loss of jobs, a loss of hope. And she never — she never waned. She got up every morning — she gets up every morning fighting for the people of Michigan.
I will tell you, she made many a call to the President and to me during this time, talking about the needs of the people of Michigan. She is one of those rare leaders who puts what’s right ahead of what’s popular to represent the people as they should expect a governor to represent them. That’s who she is, and that makes some people really fearful because that’s some strong, powerful stuff to be that kind of leader. (Applause.)
And so, this is not going to be an easy election, and that’s why I’m here this early in the process to say we need you to do everything you can to reelect her as governor of this beautiful, great state and put everything you have into it.
When I was here — the last time I was here was actually Election Day 2020, and we were together that day. And I said then what remains true: Michigan is a bellwether for the United States. What you do here, what happens here is a reflection of who we are as a country.
And when we’ve got a governor of a state — the chief executive of the state — who concerns herself, yes, everything from what we need to do to fix the darn you-know-what to — (laughter) — and then you could insert whatever words you choose, right? — to what is important in terms of the future of working people in America, the future of the workforce, the future of families.
One of the reasons that we are partners with this governor — with your governor — and will continue to be is, on the issue of COVID, about an embrace of science and the importance of talking fact, and then having an administration who is thinking about and is smart around what we do to get the information to people, much less get the vaccine to people.
Why are we committed to this governor? Because she understands that when we did what we did with the Child Tax Credit, we will lift half of America’s children out of poverty, and she stands for lifting children out of poverty. When — (applause).
And isn’t it — isn’t it an interesting thing that I have to say that anyone stands with lis- — lifting children out of poverty? But it’s not actually a given. It’s not actually a given.
She supports the Child Tax Credit and the expansion of it, infrastructure. She was one of the people that we consulted in thinking about what would be in our package — that is now the subject of bipartisan support — around what we need to do to uplift, upgrade America’s infrastructure, which is not only about roads and bridges, but it’s also about high-speed Internet — something that she knows well because, of course, this state is Detroit, and it is urban areas and it is rural areas.
We have talked about what we need to do to support childcare workers. Understanding — she and I have talked about it — women in the workforce, so many who had to leave during the course of the pandemic. Childcare remaining one of the biggest barriers to women not only going back to work, but ever entering the workforce or staying in the workforce, even before the pandemic. These are the issues that we will continue to work with her on.
And so, I am here to thank you all, but to say that, “Let’s make sure that we are committed, as she is, to the work that has yet to be done.” She is committed and determined to deliver results, decisive in a crisis. She is ambitious about the future. And she sees with an incredible amount — and this is one of the things, Gretchen, I’ve always admired about you: You maintain fight while you also maintain an incredible sense of optimism. You — that’s really who you are; that’s your nature. I — I really — I noticed that from the very first time that we had a conversation about what it means to hold elected office and to represent the people.
And that’s the kind of leadership we want. That’s the kind of leadership we need.
So, I want to thank you all again. November 8th, 2022, seems like a long way off, but it’s practically around the corner. And as we all know, right now, you know, people are excited about the fact that we might see light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the pandemic, and it’s summer, and folks have a lot of things that are on their mind, a lot of priorities, and they may not be thinking much about the election right now, but we need to remind people of what’s at stake.
And there’s so much at stake and elections matter. Elections matter. And who is the governor of the great state of Michigan matters to the people of this state and the people of our country.
So, I will close where I started, which is to say thank you all for the support you’re giving and the pledge, I know, for the continuing support to see this through. Let’s make sure we talk to everyone we know and we remind them that their voice matters, their vote matters, their participation matters, and that Governor Gretchen Whitmer matters.
Thank you all.