Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Tuesday she will not challenge Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in 2022, but she had some sharp words for the incumbent.
DeVos accused Whitmer of using her name as a fundraising tool in a series of emails attempting to solicit funds from supporters.
“DeVos is a threat to public education and the future of our state, and we need to be ready to counter her billionaire-funded campaign,” Whitmer said in an email to supporters.
“It’s almost comical that she [Whitmer] hears an unsubstantiated rumor and hits the panic button,” DeVos, a Michigan native, told the Detroit News. “She thinks she’s in an all-out war.”
DeVos also took a shot at Whitmer after the governor wore a shirt mocking her after DeVos resigned from the Trump administration in January:
— Gretchen Whitmer (@gretchenwhitmer) January 8, 2021
“Dear (America), Sorry about Betsy DeVos. Sincerely, (Michigan),” the shirt read with a waving hand.
“Clearly, there’s a lot more bravado than bravery there,” DeVos said about Whitmer’s clothing choice.
Mlive reported Michigan is 43rd among states for recovery after Whitmer’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to a lengthy economic lockdown, Whitmer has been accused of underreporting COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes across the state.
A Michigan journalist, Charlie LeDuff, repeatedly alleged that Whitmer’s administration allowed nursing home deaths to be reported on an “honor system,” which could have led to a dramatic undercounting of the total number of deaths.
“They found of all the rest of them that 50% were nursing home residents. You know what they did? They stopped looking,” LeDuff told Tucker Carlson about a pilot study that was the source of the allegations.
However, the Department of Justice refused to open an investigation into the possibility after requesting information from the state last year.
“It’s a real testimony to her leadership — or frankly, her lack of leadership,” DeVos told the News, which reported DeVos is “committed to ensuring Whitmer will be a one-term governor.”
DeVos told the paper she is “encouraged” by what she is hearing about Republican candidates that include former steel foundry sales executive and television news host Tudor Dixon and chiropractor Garrett Soldano.
“It would be pretty hard to be worse than Governor Whitmer is,” DeVos said. “I am paying attention with great interest to those who’ve expressed their interest in running. I think anyone could and would do a better job than Gretchen Whitmer has.”
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