Whitmer Says She’s 100% Behind Biden, Dismissing Talk of Tension

(Bloomberg) -- Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said she was proud to support President Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee, pushing back against suggestions that there was tension between her team and the Biden campaign following his struggles in the debate last week.

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“I am proud to support Joe Biden as our nominee and I am behind him 100% in the fight to defeat Donald Trump,” Whitmer said in a statement Monday.

Whitmer made the comments following a Politico report that the governor suggested Michigan was no longer winnable for Biden in a call with campaign chairwoman Jen O’Malley Dillon. The governor acknowledged that Biden’s performance won’t help in what will be a tight race, said a source with knowledge of the matter, but never said he couldn’t win the state.

“Not only do I believe Joe can win Michigan, I know he can because he’s got the receipts: he’s lowered health care costs, brought back manufacturing jobs and is committed to restoring the reproductive freedom women lost under Donald Trump,” Whitmer said in her statement.

Whitmer also denied the report in a profane post on X.

The relationship between Biden and the country’s most prominent Democrats, including Whitmer, California Governor Gavin Newsom and Vice President Kamala Harris is under scrutiny in the aftermath of the debate, when Biden stumbled over answers, heightening fears that he will lose to former President Donald Trump in the fall.

Some activists and media commentators have demanded Biden step aside, but the President has made clear he’s determined to stay in the race, and aides have insisted there is no conversation underway about a possible replacement.

Whitmer, who’s raised money for Biden, has ramped up her own fund raising and public appearances in support of a new memoir this year, and some Democratic donors have openly lobbied for her consideration on the ticket.

A person familiar with the situation downplayed the idea of disagreement, saying senior staff on the Biden campaign weren’t upset with Whitmer. The tense conversation was between lower level aides and reflected more the high-stress hours in the aftermath of the debate than a lasting issue, the person said.

Biden’s campaign wants the Michigan governor to show strong support for the President, which she has done more aggressively on social media over the past weekend.

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