Dem Governor Has Internet Cheering After Mic Drop Debate Response To Opponent's '2nd Amendment' Position
Incumbent Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer squared off against MAGA Republican challenger Tudor Dixon.
The first debate in the Michigan governor's race—one of the most hotly contested elections in the country of the 2022 midterms—took place Thursday night between incumbent Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and MAGA Republican Tudor Dixon.
Whitmer had a succinct, pointed response to Dixon's views on gun rights.
Using Dixon's response to the horrific school shooting in Oxford, Michigan last November, Whitmer expertly laid out why Dixon is the wrong choice for the state of Michigan.
See her comments below.
\u201cThis is so smart. I wish all democrats would message like this. \n\n\u201d— Molly Jong-Fast (@Molly Jong-Fast) 1665708490
In her allotted time, Dixon adhered to the GOP's standard NRA-mandated rhetoric on guns, calling for Michigan to get more "tough on crime" rather than implement gun control measures, and accusing Whitmer of planning to "take guns away from law-abiding citizens."
In her comments, Whitmer painted a contrast between her and Dixon's approach to gun violence that could not have been more stark.
Beginning with a social media post of Dixon's, she said:
"The same month as the Oxford school shooting where four children were murdered, eight were injured, and the whole community was terrorized, Tudor Dixon posted on her social media a picture of her shooting a gun with a caption that said, 'Gun control means using both hands'."
"She is too dangerous and too out of touch to be trusted with protecting our kids."
Whitmer then summed up Dixon's position.
"She'll put the Second Amendment before second graders every time."
"We cannot let that happen."
At another point in the debate, Whitmer pointed out Dixon's lack of any actual plans to address gun violence.
\u201cDuring a discussion on gun violence prevention, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) offers her answer time to GOP opponent Tudor Dixon:\n\n\u201cI\u2019d be happy to give my 30 seconds to Mrs. Dixon if she wants to actually tell us what policies she might support to get guns off the street.\u201d\u201d— The Recount (@The Recount) 1665705886
“I’d be happy to give my 30 seconds to Mrs. Dixon if she wants to actually tell us what policies she might support to get guns off the street.”
These moment were just a couple among many in a wide-ranging debate in which Whitmer seemed far more prepared than Dixon as the two debated some of the most hot-button issues of this midterm season, including abortion and election integrity.
The two issues came together after Dixon stated her anti-reproductive freedom stance:
"I am pro-life with exceptions for life of the mother, but I understand this is going to be decided by the state of Michigan or a judge."
Not only is this a wholesale reversal on her previous public stance, in which she said she opposes abortion without exception, but to claim it will be left up to the people or the judiciary is of course a cop-out, as we've observed over and over across the country.
But Dixon is also an election denier.
This moment of hypocrisy didn't slip past Whitmer, who nailed Dixon on her disingenuous dodging of the question.
\u201cGov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) hits Tudor Dixon for saying she would not interfere if an abortion referendum passes:\n\n\u201cIt think it's really ironic when Mrs. Dixon stands here and says that she will accept the will of the people. [She] still denies the outcome of the 2020 election.\u201d\u201d— The Recount (@The Recount) 1665703214
“I think it’s really ironic when Mrs. Dixon stands here and says that she will accept the will of the people."
"This is a candidate who still denies the outcome of the 2020 election. This is a candidate who will not pledge to accept the outcome of the Nov. 8 election.”
On Twitter, Whitmer's dispatching of Dixon's position on gun safety left many people cheering.
\u201cGretchen Whitmer makes it very clear that Tudor Dixon sees murdered children as an opportunity to make a joke about gun control.\u201d— Mr. William (@Mr. William) 1665746286
\u201cGun laws haven\u2019t gotten much attention in #MIGov but it\u2019s a dramatic point of difference, with Dixon promoting herself as a 2nd amendment absolutist.\n\nHere Whitmer cited that in what was \u2014 to my mind \u2014 the most vivid and memorable line of the night. \n\nhttps://t.co/3vXvMlSdZM\u201d— Jonathan Cohn (@Jonathan Cohn) 1665753701
\u201cJust listened to the Whitmer @TudorDixon debate. Dixon is one loaf short of a full bread basket. Allowing guns in schools is by far the dumbest thing I have ever heard.\u201d— Chris number 2 (@Chris number 2) 1665754917
\u201cGretchen Whitmer- \u201cI support safe storage and background checks\u201d \n\nTudor Dixon- \u201csee?!! She wants to take ALL OF YOUR GUNS!!!\u201d \n\nWhat a joke\u201d— Brie \ud83d\udc07 \u262e\ufe0f \ud83c\udf3b \ud83e\udd88 (@Brie \ud83d\udc07 \u262e\ufe0f \ud83c\udf3b \ud83e\udd88) 1665704709
\u201cTudor Dixon is a liar and a dingbat. She said Whitmer wants to take away all of your guns and defund the police. This couldn't be further from the truth. Educate yourself so you don't end up with Trump running our state. Dixon is also hiding her tax returns. Sound familiar?\u201d— BettyBoop\ud83d\udc99\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6\ud83d\udc9b (@BettyBoop\ud83d\udc99\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6\ud83d\udc9b) 1665743557
And her treatment of Dixon's statements on abortion drew widespread applause.
\u201cOMG!! Tudor Dixon just changed her position on abortion DURING the Michigan gubernatorial debate! She now says she thinks their should be exceptions to save the life of the mother. \nDixon is a spineless\n#WhitmerDixonDebate\n#Whitmer\n#BigGretch\u201d— Mystery Solvent (@Mystery Solvent) 1665702827
\u201cDixon: "Why does Gov. Whitmer keep talking about abortion every day?"\n\nAlso Dixon: "Trans Bad! Trans Bad! Trans Bad!"\u201d— Charles Ghoul-ba \ud83c\udf83 (@Charles Ghoul-ba \ud83c\udf83) 1665413515
\u201cWowzer. Democrats final calling out fascist BS. I likey.\u201d— Orlando Fuentes \u270d\ufe0f (@Orlando Fuentes \u270d\ufe0f) 1665712506
\u201cGovernors don't have an impact on the abortion question? Really. Tudor Dixon needs a civics lesson. It's good thing Gretchen Whitmer is also investing heavily in public education. On 11/9 Tudor will be free to study. #DemCastMI #BlueIn22 #TeamWhitmer\u201d— Jill #DemCastMI Captain \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf2\ud83c\udf3b\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Jill #DemCastMI Captain \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf2\ud83c\udf3b\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1665707407
\u201cAfter spending an hour trying to convince voters she's not an extremist, Dixon uses her #MIGov debate closing statement to target LGBTQ+ kids and focus on...sex ed? No mention of abortion.\n\nWhitmer spends her closing vowing to protect abortion rights.\n\nContrast, clear\u201d— DJ Koessler (@DJ Koessler) 1665705667
Whitmer holds a commanding lead over Dixon, whose radically far-right anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ, transphobic and pro-gun rhetoric seems not to resonate with the majority of Michigan voters.
But Whitmer's lead has been shrinking in recent weeks, to under 10 points for the first time since the race began.