On Monday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer faced backlash from Republican lawmakers after a reported request from her husband to get the family’s boat out on the water before Memorial Day weekend and farfrom their home in Lansing.
Whitmer, a Democrat, famously has imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in the country, sparking frequent protests. What’s more, she’s told people not living in Northern Michigan to stay away from vacation spots there during the holiday weekend.
In Facebook posts no longer visible to the public, NorthShore Dock LLC and its owner, Tad Dowker, focused on what Dowker said was a request last week by Whitmer’s husband, Marc Mallory. “This morning, I was out working when the office called me, there was a gentleman on hold who wanted his boat in the water before the weekend,” Dowker posted. “Being Memorial weekend and the fact that we started working three weeks late means there is no chance this is going to happen.”
He continued, “Our office personnel had explained this to the man and he replied, ‘I am the husband to the governor, will this make a difference?'” The docking company later noted that Mallory respectfully accepted that the accommodation would not be possible.
Whitmer spokeswoman Tiffany Brown refused to comment on the matter, saying the administration wouldn’t address “every rumor that is spread online,” The Detroit News reported.
But today, Tuesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer acknowledged that her husband dropped her name in an effort to get his boat in the water for Memorial Day weekend but said it simply was a “failed attempt at humor” during a phone call with a recreation business.
Her husband’s so called, “attempt at humor,” didn’t go over well with Michigan residents who had been told by the governor that she was discouraging trips to second homes in the woods and waters of northern Michigan.
Whitmer said, reading a statement, “knowing it wouldn’t make a difference, he jokingly asked if being married to me might move him up in the queue, and he regrets it. I wish it wouldn’t have happened, and that’s really all we have to say about it.”
The vacation property Whitmer and her husband have owned is about 25 minutes from Traverse City, according to The Detroit News, but the family permanently resides in Lansing, over 150 miles away.
State Sen. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte, said Whitmer had urged Michigan residents not to “descend” on the city. “Yet, what did her family try and do?” Barrett said.
“In the Army, we have a tradition that the leaders get in line for chow last behind everyone else in the unit,” he continued. “Here is the leader of our state. … Her family is trying to cut people in line.”
The governor attracted the attention of President Trump when she criticized the federal government’s response to the pandemic. The President tweeted, “I love Michigan, one of the reasons we are doing such a GREAT job for them during this horrible Pandemic. Yet your Governor, Gretchen ‘Half’ Whitmer is way in over her head, she doesn’t have a clue. Likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude!”