Biden says Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is on his list for vice president

Tribune Content Agency

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has drawn attention for her scrapes with President Donald Trump over the federal government’s coronavirus response, is on Joe Biden’s list of potential vice presidential candidates, he said in an interview Tuesday.

The former vice president made the remarks during an appearance on MSNBC, after host Brian Williams asked if Whitmer had “lengthened” Biden’s shortlist due to her performance during the pandemic.

“She hadn’t lengthened the list — she made the list, in my mind, two months ago,” Biden said in a brief clip released by MSNBC.

Whitmer, a former longtime Michigan state lawmaker who has endorsed Biden, is less than halfway through her first term as governor after winning office in 2018. Whitmer has criticized the federal government’s lack of planning and failure to react more quickly to the pandemic, drawing Trump’s ire.

“We’ve had a big problem with the young, a woman governor from — you know who I’m talking about — from Michigan,” Trump told Fox News personality Sean Hannity in an interview. “We can’t — we don’t like to see the complaints.”

“Now that I’ve got your attention, Mr. President — attack tweets won’t solve this crisis,” Whitmer, 48, said in a response after Trump criticized her on Twitter. “But swift and clear guidance, tests, personal protective equipment, and resources would.”

Trump won the state by a little more than 10,000 votes in 2016, and 2018 midterm-cycle victories such as Whitmer’s have given Democrats hope that they can win back the upper Midwest with the right ticket.

Biden said during the most recent Democratic debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont earlier this month that he would pick a woman to be his vice president should he win the nomination. That parameter would exclude several Democratic governors whose profiles have also risen for their handling of the coronavirus crisis, including Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, Gavin Newsom of California and Jay Inslee of Washington.

Sanders stopped short of guaranteeing that his vice presidential pick would be a woman, though he said he was in favor of it.


©2020 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.