Read Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Democratic response to Trump's State of the Union

Whitmer was chosen last month to give the English response to Trump's address.

February 4, 2020, 9:10 PM

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to highlight the stark differences in how Republican and Democrats plan to tackle the country's hot-button political issues when she delivers one of the Democratic Party's responses to the President's State of the Union address.

Whitmer, who was chosen last month to give the English response to Trump's address, will touch on issues surrounding health care, prescription prices and stagnated wages in the Democratic Party's formal response Tuesday night, according to prepared remarks.

"It’s pretty simple. Democrats are trying to make your health care better. Republicans in Washington are trying to take it away," Whitmer said in prepared remarks. "It doesn’t matter what the president says about the stock market. What matters is that millions of people struggle to get by or don’t have enough money at the end of the month after paying for transportation, student loans, or prescription drugs."

"American workers are hurting. In my own state. Our neighbors in Wisconsin. And Ohio. And Pennsylvania. All over the country. Wages have stagnated, while CEO pay has skyrocketed," she added.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks with reporters, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, at her office in Lansing, Mich., about delivering the Democratic response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address.
David Eggert/AP

Whitmer, who previously served in the state's Senate and House of Representative, is also expected to get personal in her speech with an opening that chronicles her struggles as a mom with a new baby and a daughter with brain cancer.

"I was up all night with a baby and during the day, I had to fight my mom’s insurance company when they wrongly denied her coverage for chemotherapy," she said in her prepared remarks. "It was hard. It exposed the harsh realities of our workplaces, our health care system, and our child care system. And it changed me. I lost my patience for people who play games instead of solve problems."

"So, as a state senator, I worked with a Republican governor and legislature to expand health care coverage to more than 680,000 Michiganders under the Affordable Care Act," she added.

Whitmer, 48, had been tight-lipped about the specifics of what he she planned to say during her address, but she signaled that she would address issues that resonated with Americans in every state.

On Monday, she released a statement expressing how "honored" she was to deliver the address from the East Lansing High School in East Lansing, Michigan, where her daughters are students.

"Americans are good, hardworking people who expect our elected officials in the highest offices of government to work just as hard as we do every day. Democrats across the country have a plan to improve education, fix our infrastructure, expand and protect health care coverage, and build an economy that works for everyone," Whitmer said in her statement Monday. "Our nation deserves this type of leadership, and we are ready to take action to get it done."

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