Whitmer: Biden has 'to prove to people he is up to the moment'


Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) called on President Biden to “prove” himself to voters in the coming weeks, as he faces concerns about his health and ability, and some Democrats have called on him to end his campaign.

Whitmer, who made clear she still supports the president, said in an MSNBC interview with Alex Wagner on Tuesday that Biden has work to do to recover from a shaky debate performance last month.

“I think it’s important to recognize the debate did not go well, right? I think we all understand that. What we’ve seen from this president since then, though, is an aggressive calendar,” she said. 

The governor added that Biden appears to be up to the challenge, based on their conversations.

“He’s in it, and he is going to fight like hell to make sure that we continue the work that he has begun in this first term,” Whitmer said. “I’ve got confidence in him, and I’m continuing to support him… He’s got to prove to people he is up to the moment, and I think he’s going to.”

Whitmer was in Washington last week for a meeting with Biden alongside other Democratic governors as the president sought support and advice given criticism over his campaign. Governors in the meeting have since doubled down on their support for the president.

Some critics floated Whitmer as a possible replacement for Biden should he choose to end his campaign, though she has cast off the idea of seeking higher office this year. Biden himself has also emphatically rejected calls to leave the race.

She called on Democrats to move past questions over Biden’s campaign and get to work on his reelection.

“The only one who’s going to make a decision about whether or not the President’s in the race is the president. He has made the decision,” she said. “So now it’s time to stop ringing up our hands and roll up your sleeves.” 

“We got a lot of work to do, but we are capable of meeting this moment. There is no question in my mind,” she continued. “Continuing to talk about what may or may not happen, is all based on one person’s decision. He’s made his decision. So, let’s go.”

Trump and Biden candidates remain neck-and-neck in national polling. Trump leads Biden by 1.3 percent in The Hill/Decision Desk HQ average of polls. In Michigan, Biden has a 0.4 percent lead over Trump on average.

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