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Whitmer says being Michigan governor is ‘100% my focus’ amid presidential speculation | CNN Politics


Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Sunday that serving in her current role is “100% my focus” as the Democrat’s national profile and speculation about a future White House bid continue to grow.

“I just got re-upped for four more years in the job that I have always wanted. I enjoy it,” Whitmer told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” referring to her reelection victory last fall.

“Even on the hardest days, I feel really lucky to be the governor of the great state of Michigan. That is 100 percent my focus. I’m not making plans for 2028 or any – anything beyond what I’m going to do in this next four years,” she added.

Whitmer – who said she would support President Joe Biden’s reelection if he runs – won a second term in November after a campaign that focused largely on her support for abortion rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.

She successfully sued to block the enforcement of Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban and also championed a successful citizens’ initiative on last fall’s ballot that amended the state’s constitution to guarantee abortion rights.

Her victory cemented Whitmer’s place – two years after she was a finalist for Biden’s vice presidential pick – as a leading figure within the Democratic Party. And it demonstrates the limits of voters’ willingness to punish officials in competitive states who took strict measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic, including school and business closures.

Still, Whitmer has repeatedly brushed off speculation about her political future beyond her current role.

“I think doing my job well is the best way that I can contribute to the national Democratic Party – is to be able to be someone that they can point to and say, ‘This is what happens when you elect Democrats,’” she told CNN last month, reflecting on how her 2022 campaign “talked about abortion in the most personal terms” and how she thinks that contributed to Democrats’ success.

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