Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reiterated on Wednesday that she is "proud" to support President Joe Biden's re-election, days after a congressman called for her to challenge Biden in a primary.
“I’m supporting the president because he’s got a record. He’s gotten things done, and he cares about the average person,” Whitmer told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday. She is serving as a co-chair of the Biden 2024 campaign.
Whitmer's comments come after Rep. Dean Phillips’ D-Minn., told Meet the Press on Sunday that he would like to see a “moderate governor, hopefully from the heartland,” challenge Biden, noting that Whitmer and Democratic Govs. Tim Walz of Minnesota, Tony Evers of Wisconsin, J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, and Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania could be possible alternatives.
Whitmer stressed Wednesday that she and other governors are standing behind Biden and they are focused on selling the president’s accomplishments in office.
“I was with Gov. Walz and Gov. Evers last weekend, and I can tell you, we had a lot of conversations about how the agenda’s gotta be communicated, because he’s got an incredible amount of work done,” she told Andrea. “I am proud to be, you know, supporting President Biden. I am proud to be on the campaign for re-election.”
Phillips is one of the few Democrats publicly calling for a primary challenge to Biden as the president faces some political headwinds.
A recent New York Times/Siena College poll showed Biden locked in a close race with former President Donald Trump — the GOP frontrunner — in a hypothetical 2024 matchup, despite Trump’s mounting legal troubles as he faced a fourth criminal indictment this week. Biden’s approval rating in the same poll sits at 43%, and his approval rating on the economy is even lower, at 39%. And just 20% of Democrats said they would be enthusiastic if Biden were the party’s 2024 nominee.
Asked if Biden’s standing against Trump was frustrating, Whitmer said, “At the end of the day, voters are not stupid. They are very smart. They know who’s really working to improve the quality of their lives, who is working to codify rights instead of taking them away from people. Who is working to make sure that all people in this country can get on a path to prosperity."
“So ultimately, that’s how elections are decided," Whitmer added. "I’m confident that what this President has done is inuring to the benefit of Americans’ lives, and as we get closer to the election, that will that will drive how votes are but we take no one for granted."