UPDATE: Gov. Whitmer focuses on economy and healthcare in response to President Trump's State of the Union

Published: Feb. 4, 2020 at 9:53 PM EST
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Governor Gretchen Whitmer didn't rip up any scripts or refuse to shake any hands during her delivery of the Democrat's response to the State of the Union Address. The bulk of her response was aimed at President Donald Trump's assessment of where the economy currently stands.

Gov. Whitmer spoke from East Lansing High School where her two daughters attend school. She focused on the nation's healthcare system and the economy in her response to President Trump's State of the Union Address Tuesday night.

In his State of the Union Address, President Trump touted a strong economy. But, Gov. Whitmer countered that by saying the economy is strong for the wealthy, but not for American workers. Gov. Whitmer also tried to promote the health care plans of the current Democratic presidential candidates against the President's plan.

During his speech, President Trump didn't delve into the impeachment trial, but Gov. Whitmer didn't shy away from addressing the elephant in the room.

"As we witness the impeachment process in Washington, there's some things each of us, no matter our party should demand," Gov. Whitmer said. "The truth matters and facts matter and no one should be above the law. It's not what those senators say, [Wednesday} it's about what they do."

The governor of Michigan began her response talking about healthcare and reflecting on a time when she was caring for her newborn baby and her mother, who nearing the end of her fight with brain cancer.

"I was up all night with a baby and during the day, I had to fight my mom's insurance company when they wrongly denied her coverage for chemotherapy," Gov. Whitmer said. "It was hard. It exposed the harsh realities of our workplaces, our healthcare system, and our child care system. And it changed me. I lost my patience for people who play games instead of solve problems."

In her response, Gov. Whitmer said that she has worked with a Republican governor and legislature to expand healthcare coverage to more than 680,000 Michiganders under the Affordable Care Act.

"It's pretty simple. Democrats are trying to make your health care better. Republicans in Washington are trying to take it away," Gov. Whitmer said.

In her response, the governor went on to talk about how inspired she was by young people responding to tragedies, such as mass shootings and demanding policies to make school safer.

"They react to a world that's literally on fire with fire in their bellies to push leaders to finally take action on climate change," Gov. Whitmer said. "They take on a road filled with potholes with a shovel and some dirt."

The governor says she sees 2020 as a big year, alluding to the importance of voting.

"It's the year my daughter Sherry will graduate from high school. It's also the year she'll cast her first ballot along with millions of young Americans. The two things are connected. Because walking across the graduation stage is as important as walking into the voting booth for the first time."

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