Transcript: Democratic Response to Weekly Address

Hello, this is Jennifer Granholm, Governor of Michigan.

This week, President Bush delivered his State of the Union Address. I want to respond to his speech this morning, and I want to respond directly to the president, on behalf of the Michigan workers and families who are struggling as their jobs are being shipped overseas.

Mr. President, I watched your speech as the governor of a state that is the epicenter of America's manufacturing crisis.

I was right with you when you said, "If we have a level playing field, no one can out-produce or out-compete the American worker." We in Michigan could not agree more.

And I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for you to take a stand for those workers — the ones who are being hurt by unfair trade practices by other countries — and for the American businesses that are being slammed by health care costs, and for the American automakers that are fighting hard to compete and that need you to fight alongside them.

But like so many Americans, Mr. President, what I heard in your speech, instead, was:

"You're on your own. Automakers, you're on your own. Manufacturers, you're on your own. Citizens, you're on your own."

In this global economy, though, we can't ask our citizens and businesses to just go it alone.

We need to fight for them. And like other countries that are fighting for their businesses, in Michigan, we're fighting everyday.

We're expanding health care and drug coverage for our citizens. We've reduced taxes to help our manufacturers. We're investing in and diversifying our economy. I've called for a rigorous core curriculum emphasizing science and math in our public schools, so that all of our children are prepared to compete in the 21st century.

In fact, what we're doing in Michigan reflects the competitiveness agenda that Democrats have outlined for America.

It's a pro-middle class, pro-growth, pro-American worker, and pro-family agenda.

It calls for crafting a uniquely American solution to insure people and to curb the rising cost of health care.

It demands fair trade that will create jobs in this country, and not overseas.

And it calls for fiscal responsibility — government that's lean, but not mean.

We believe in protecting the financial security of consumers, because American families are being squeezed by costs for gas and home heating oil.

And our competitiveness agenda invests in our people, to give every American the education and the opportunity to build a great life.

We're working hard in Michigan, and Democratic governors are working hard across the country, because we believe that no victim of outsourcing, no family without health care, and no young person struggling to pay for college should be on their own.

But, Mr. President, you were a governor once. You know that governors don't enforce international trade agreements. Presidents do.

And you know that governors can't set a federal agenda for health care. But presidents can.

And governors can certainly ask Congress to strengthen the federal laws that protect the pensions of our workers. But a president whose party holds the reins of power in Washington can make it a top priority.

So, on behalf of citizens in Michigan and around the country — citizens who may or may not share your views of the state of our union — I ask you, with due respect, to fight for them. Fight for fair trade. Fight for our manufacturers. Fight for our automakers. Fight for our American workers.

Mr. President, you've said that we should leave no child behind, and that is a great goal. And I've got another one. Let's leave no American worker behind. Let's leave no American behind.

And to those Americans who do feel left behind, let me say this:

You're not on your own. Democrats have an agenda for America, to make our economy and our country stronger than ever. And we want to put it to work for you, for your family, and for your future, because we believe that together, America can do better.

This is Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Thanks for listening.