Whitmer blasts ‘racism’ of protesters, defends Biden over sexual assault claims

Posted By Steve Neavling on Mon, May 4, 2020 at 10:42 am

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Sunday denounced the armed protesters who rallied against her stay-at-home order last week, saying they exhibited “some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country.”

“The Confederate flags and nooses, the swastikas, the behavior that you’ve seen in all the clips is not representative of who we are in Michigan,” Whitmer said on CNN’s State of the Union. “We’re in a global pandemic. This isn’t something we just negotiate ourselves out of.”

Whitmer said her focus is on saving lives in a state where the coronavirus has claimed more than 4,000 lives.

“Whether you agree with me or not, I am working to protect your life if you live in the state of Michigan,” Whitmer said. “I’m going to continue to do my job regardless of what tweets come out, what polls come out, or what people think makes sense. We’re going to listen to facts and science. We’ve got to get this right.”

“We have to listen to the epidemiologist and health experts and displays like the one we saw at our capitol is not representative of who we are.” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reacts to protesters descending on her state’s capitol, including some who were armed. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/lfPgGnpkGC— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) May 3, 2020

In the same interview, Whitmer defended presidential candidate Joe Biden against allegations leveled by his former congressional aide, Tara Reade, who says the former vice president sexually assaulted her in a Senate corridor in 1993. Biden vehemently denies wrongdoing.

Whitmer, who is a sexual assault survivor, is considered a potential running mate for Biden. Asked why she is giving Biden the presumption of innocence but didn’t do the same for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Whitmer said not all sexual assault allegations are “equal.”

“We need to give people an opportunity to tell their story. But then we have a duty to vet it. And just because you’re a survivor doesn’t mean that every claim is equal,” Whitmer said. “It means we give them the ability to make their case. And then to make a judgment that is informed.”

Whitmer said she’s weighed the allegations against Biden.

“There’s not a pattern that goes into this,” Whitmer said. “And I think that for these reasons, I’m very comfortable that Joe Biden is who he says he is.”

“We owe it to every woman who has a story to, to listen to that story and then vet that story… I don’t believe that it’s consistent with the Joe Biden I know and I do believe Joe Biden,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reacts to Tara Reade’s allegation against Biden. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/5h0fvzgV4K

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