On a chilly Saturday afternoon, Rick Snyder's campaign bus pulls up to Uncle John's Cider Mill in St. Johns. But before the cider-sampling and visiting with voters, we have a chance to travel with him on the bus and talk about the race.
We start by asking: Why do you want to be Governor?
"I love Michigan," he says. "I absolutely love this state. I've been fortunate, and it's an opportunity to give back."
His first order of business if elected?
"I would bring an attitude of crisis to Lansing."
That means making the state's finances available to everyone, in easy to understand terms, he says. Also, replacing the MBT, highlighting our successful industries and building on them are big issues. That includes manufacturing-- Snyder says he has experience as a Gateway plant manager and appreciates the industry.
"We need to encourage diversity," Snyder says. "The auto industry is coming back, but let's see if we can take the manufacturing base and expand it to aerospace or medical equipment and keep it going."
Another thing Snyder says he make a priority if he were elected has to do with the cider mill in St. Johns and other tourism destinations like it; he says he'd reinstate the Pure Michigan campaign.
"Canceling it was just an illustration of our broken government," he says of the successful tourism campaign. Its funding was recently canceled. "You've got a payback of $2 for every $1 you spend in one year. Any good businessman would telll you, you absolutely should be funding that program."
But when it comes to other incentives, specifically MEDC tax incentives or tax credits to the film industry, he's not as supportive.
"Generally, on all incentives, we need to be scaling them back and get more strategic on their use," he says.
Above all, Snyder says creating jobs and keeping our young people in the state are his main goals.
Snyder will face off with Democrat Virg Bernero Sunday in the only televised gubernatorial debate of the election season.