Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers Democratic response to State of the Union, focuses on health care

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivered the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night. 

Whitmer, 48, delivered her speech from East Lansing High School, where her daughters attend. 

“Good evening. I’m honored to be here and grateful that you’re tuning in. I’m Gretchen Whitmer, the 49th governor of the great state of Michigan. Tonight, I’m at my daughter Sherry and Sydney’s public school East Lansing high school. We’re here today with families and parents, teachers, and most importantly, students. I want to thank you all for coming,” Whitmer said. 

She used the Democratic response to to appeal to working-class voters, saying her party is focusing on easing health care costs and addressing other pocket-book issues. 

“But tonight I’m going to talk to those of you who are watching at home. I’d need a lot more than 10 minutes to respond to what the president just said. So instead of talking about what he is saying, I’m going to highlight what Democrats are doing,” Whitmer said. 

She highlighted Democratic efforts to preserve and expand health care. 

“Every Democrat running for president has a plan to expand health care for all Americans. Every one of them has supported the Affordable Care Act with coverage for people with preexisting conditions. They may have different plans, but the goal is the same,” Whitmer said. “President Trump sadly has a different plan. He’s asking the courts to rip those life-saving protections away. It’s pretty simple. Democrats are trying to make your health care better, Republicans in Washington are trying to take it away.” 

The Michigan governor cited examples of 17-year-old Blake Carroll from Idaho, who organized a fundraiser to pay for his mom’s colon cancer treatment, and 19-year-old Ebony Meyers from Utah, who sells art to help pay for her own rare genetic disorder treatment.

“No one should have to crowdsource their health care, not in America,” Whitmer added. 

She referred to Trump’s impeachment trial toward the end of her speech. 

“As we witness the impeachment process in Washington, there are some things each of us, no matter our party, should demand. The truth matters. Facts matter. And no one should be above the law,” Whitmer said. 

She ended her speech with an emphasis on observing people’s actions instead of their words.  

“Remember. Listen to what people say, but watch what they do. It’s time for action. Generations of Americans are counting on us. Let’s not let them down,” Whitmer said. 

Read her full speech below. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.