Tudor Dixon, Republican nominee for governor or Michigan, described Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D-MI) record as epitomized by lockdowns and shutdowns ostensibly decreed as measures “to protect the public health” by reducing coronavirus transmission.
Dixon said, “[Whitmer] shut everything down over and over again, and she had restaurants closed down for eight months in the state of Michigan. We lost 3,000 restaurants. We still lose restaurants every single day. There are a whole towns that have been destroyed by the shutdown.”
In a televised debate, Whitmer falsely claimed that Michigan’s public schools were closed for three months. Dixon recalled this moment while describing the damage to children’s education driven by Whitmer’s closure of public schools.
“A key moment in the debate, I think, was when she came out and kind of smiled — a sideways smirk — and said schools in Michigan were only closed for three months. That was a moment where people were immediately taken back to what actually did happen.”
She continued, “On statewide TV, people were able to see that really, truly, she doesn’t have a plan. She didn’t care. She shrugs it off and laughs it off, the fact that our kids are so far behind.”
Whitmer shut down public schools at the behest of teachers unions, Dixon held.
“We know that the choice was to lock kids out of school because that was what the [teachers] unions wanted,” she said. “It’s ridiculous to think that [Democrats] are saying, ‘Give us a pass and reelect us, even though we damaged the education system to a point that we can barely get back, and we have zero plan to get kids back on track.’”
She went on, “The teachers unions, they’re not there for the kids. Gretchen Whitmer is completely beholden to the teachers unions. That’s why our kids are so far behind. Our reading scores just got back from spring, nearly 60 percent of third-graders across the state failed reading and writing. That is a catastrophic effect.”
“They actually do not care about the kids that have a 90-percent illiteracy rate in Detroit,” she added.
Dixon recalled a report from Michigan’s Office of the Auditor General in which the number of deaths in long-term care (LCT) facilities attributed to COVID-19 was underreported by Whitmer’s administration. The audit determined the actual number of COVID-19 deaths in the state’s LCT facilities to be nearly 30 percent higher than the numbers shared by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Michigan is losing its automotive manufacturing industry under Whitmer’s governorship, Dixon said.
“[Whitmer] will look in the face of every Michigander and lie, and say that she is preserving the automotive industry,” she stated. “Michigan is losing automotive, and it’s just a sign of how we treat businesses in general. You’ve got Ford and GM saying … it’s just too hard to do business in the state. We have a regulatory system that is out of control. It is crushing the automotive industry, and it’s crushing all of our smaller businesses, as well.”
Ford’s decision to spend $11 billion on plants producing electric vehicles in Kentucky and Tennessee illustrated the economic environment hostile to business in Michigan, Dixon said.
She remarked, “[Whitmer] has no idea what she’s doing when it comes to economic development. We have a very short period of time here to turn this around to get Michigan back on track when it comes to economic development, or the the impact of what she has done will be catastrophic for the state.”
“We are losing automotive,” she emphasized. “We have a small window of time to try to bring it back, and that’s what we’ll do as soon as soon as we get Gretchen Whitmer out of office.”
Dixon assessed rising rates of crime in Detroit, Michigan’s most populous city, as reflective of Whitmer’s failure to protect the public. The city has “ title of second- or first-most violent city in the nation,” she said.
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Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.
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