Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer attracted mixed reviews for a series of harsh restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19.
Nevertheless, she was reportedly among Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s candidates as he selected his running mate — and she is now acknowledging a sense of relief that she was ultimately passed over for the gig.
“This election was that important”
Whitmer’s admission came amid one reporter’s continued attempts to elicit a candid response to being included in Biden’s search.
“This is the God’s honest truth — when he called and asked me to go through the vetting, I was shocked,” she said.
The governor then reacted to an inquiry regarding whether she would have accepted the position if the former vice president had picked her.
“If Joe Biden had called and said ‘I need you to be my partner and be my running mate,’ I would have said yes,” she confirmed. “This election was that important.”
Focus on the subject continued with a follow-up question about her reaction to the news that Biden had picked Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) instead.
“Over here at the governor’s residence”
“There might have been a sigh of relief over here at the governor’s residence,” she said.
Asked whether that would include members of her immediate family, Whitmer added: “I think everyone was pleased with the outcome, yes.”
In June, CNBC weighed in with the perceived pros and cons for Biden if he had picked Whitmer. The article claimed that her attributes included the fact that she was a “fighter” and a “fresh face” within her party.
On the other hand, she has proven to be a polarizing figure. Furthermore, many in the Democratic Party urged Biden to select a Black woman to complete the ticket as a nod to the more inclusive administration his campaign promised.
Biden was reported advised to drop Whitmer from his shortlist in favor of a group of Black Democrats also under consideration. In addition to Harris, that lineup reportedly including Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), and former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice.