Oct 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Whitmer criticizes Trump, calls for unity after thwarted kidnapping plot

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer attacked President Trump for his positions on extremist groups and called for national unity in an address Thursday, following news that the FBI thwarted an alleged plot to kidnap her and violently overthrow the state government.

What she's saying: The governor, who was the target of protests by right-wing groups for implementing strict coronavirus restrictions, acknowledged she "made tough choices" to protect the state from the pandemic, but insisted "we are not one another's enemies."

  • "This virus is our enemy and this enemy is relentless, it doesn't care if you're a Republican or Democrat ... it threatens us all."
  • "When I put my hand on the Bible and took the oath of office 22 months ago, I knew this job would be hard, but I'll be honest, I never could have imagined anything like this," Whitmer said. She added that "hatred bigotry and violence have no place in the great state of Michigan."
  • "As your governor, I will never stop doing everything in my power to keep you and our state safe. Never forget that we are all in this together."

Whitmer said extremists heard President Trump's refusal at a debate last month to explicitly condemn white supremacist groups "not as a rebuke, but as rallying cry, as a call to action."

  • "This should be a moment for national unity, where we all pull together as Americans to meet this challenge head-on," Whitmer said.
  • "Instead our head of state has spent the past seven months denying science, ignoring his own health experts, stoking distrust, fomenting anger and giving comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division."

The other side: Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller responded to Whitmer moments after her address, telling Fox News: "If we want to talk about hatred, then Gov. Whitmer, go look in the mirror. The fact that she wakes up every day with such hatred in her heart towards President Trump."

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