Gretchen Whitmer

2020 Democratic National Convention Speech - Aug. 17, 2020

Gretchen Whitmer
August 17, 2020
Democratic National Convention 2020
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Hello America, I'm Governor Gretchen Whitmer, or as Donald Trump calls me: that woman from Michigan. Tonight, I'm here at UAW local 652 in Lansing, Michigan. Auto workers in this union and across our state could have lost their jobs if not for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. In 2009, the Obama-Biden administration inherited the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the auto industry on the brink of collapse, a million jobs at stake. But President Obama and Vice President Biden didn't waste time blaming anyone else or shirking their responsibility, they got to work. They brought together union members, companies and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and they saved the auto industry. And wouldn't you know, just a few months ago as our nation began battling COVID-19, auto workers across Michigan sprang into action. They started making protective equipment for doctors and nurses on the front lines. Let me break it down, President Obama and Vice President Biden saved these auto workers livelihoods, then these workers did their part to save American lives. That's the story of this great nation — action begets action, progress begets progress. And when we work together, we can accomplish anything. After all, democracy is a team sport, especially now. It's crucial that we rally together to fight this virus and build our economy back better.

From the jump, we took this pandemic seriously in Michigan. We listened to medical experts, we planned and with a lot of work from the auto workers and too little help from the White House, we executed our plan, we saved thousands of lives. Just imagine if we had a national strategy; so everyone who needs a test gets one for free, so everyone has access to a safe vaccine, so our kids and educators have the resources they need to safely get back to school. With Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the White House we will. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will lead by example, it'll be science, not politics or ego that will drive their decisions. They know the health of our people goes hand in hand with the strength of our economy, they know action begets action. Over the past few months, we've learned what's essential — rising to the challenge not denying it. We've learned who is essential too. Not just the wealthiest among us — not a president who fights his fellow Americans rather than fight the virus that's killing us and our economy — it's the people who put their own health at risk to care for the rest of us. They are the MVPs. The nurses and the doctors, the utility workers, truck drivers and grocery clerks, the child care workers, the parents, the teachers, the mail carriers and the auto workers. So many of these essential workers have lost their lives to COVID. Nearly a thousand health care workers, more than 170,000 people across America, including a five-year-old girl named Skylar from Detroit whose mom is a police officer and dad is a firefighter. Generation after generation our nation has been defined by what we do or what we fail to do. So, for Skylar, for her parents and in the memory of all those we've lost, let us act, let us heal as one nation, let us find strength to do the work.

Whitmer. G. E. [ABC News]. (2020, August 17). Gov. Gretchen Whitmer praises essential workers at 2020 DNC [] Retrieved on September 2, 2020 from