Gretchen Whitmer Dodges Colbert Question on Biden Debate: ‘I Like Your Tie!’


Gretchen Whitmer bobbed and weaved around questions from Stephen Colbert on whether President Joe Biden should drop out of the race on Wednesday night, at one point telling the Late Show host, “I like your tie.”

“What was your reaction? You know, what, stay the course? Doesn’t matter? Full speed ahead or do they give you pause?” Colbert questioned the Michigan governor, referring to the presidential debate.

Smiling from ear to ear, Whitmer responded, “I like your tie.” The audience roared back with applause and laughter.

“So that’s how it’s going to be, OK,” Colbert responded.

Colbert followed up, asking Whitmer about the George Clooney New York Times op-ed, which name-checked Whitmer along with other high-profile Democrats who Clooney wrote should be “stepping forward to stand and tell us why they’re best qualified to lead this country.”

Whitmer, whose name has been floated as a Biden replacement but has denied that she will run for president in 2024, again dodged, telling Colbert: “They are not here tonight, so who cares about them,” in reference to the other names on Clooney’s list.

“The debate was a lousy performance,” Whitmer added. “I don’t think anyone is disputing that.”

The governor explained that after spending time with Biden, her colleagues, and other vice chairs of the president’s campaign following the debate, she believes Biden “is up for this.”

George Clooney Tells Joe Biden: Quit to Save Democracy

“I know that there’s a lot of nervousness. This is a high-stakes election,” she said.

“People across Michigan, their biggest concerns are trying to keep money in their pocket; make sure their kids are set up for success; making sure they don’t get shot on their way to school; making sure they can drive on the roads; fixing the damn roads. Joe Biden has receipts on every one of those fronts, and they know that,” Whitmer added.

Colbert, redoubled and asked again, “You feel perfectly confident he’s up for the job for the, the next four years?”

“He is up for the job for the next four years, and I’m working my tail off on his behalf,” Whitmer answered.

In an interview with Intelligencer published Thursday, the governor affirmed her support for Biden, citing similar concerns from voters and touting his infrastructure accomplishments.

“[Biden’s] got receipts. The things that he’s been able to accomplish. We have manufacturing growth in this country that we haven’t had for a long time. That’s important for good-paying jobs,” Whitmer told Intelligencer.

“Joe Biden’s going to be the nominee unless Joe Biden decides he’s not going to be the nominee,” she added in the interview.

In a media blitz on Wednesday, the governor also made an appearance on CNN’s NewsNight with Abby Phillip, during which she reiterated her support for Biden.

“He has communicated that he is in this race, that he is going to see it through, and he’s ready for a second term and until and unless that changes I am, all, all go ahead,” Whitmer told Philip.

“Do you think there is a possibility he will change his mind?” Philip asked.

“I don’t,” Whitmer responded. “I have heard nothing to the contrary. I understand that there are people with different opinions. I understand that some are playing fantasy football and just want to pick just a couple of random leaders that they like across the country and design the ticket. That’s just not how this works.”

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