Charlie Hurt: Michigan governor's actions raise questions about her political motives

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's actions surrounding coronavirus "stay-at-home" measures are raising questions about her political motives, Fox News contributor Charlie Hurt said Friday.

In an appearance on "America's Newsroom" with host Ed Henry, the Washington Times opinion editor said that while there is plenty of debate from politicians and scientists on how to approach mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic, problems arise when leaders appear to be acting in their political best interest instead of the best interest of their constituents.

"And, there's a lot of evidence to suggest that Governor Whitmer here is sort of jockeying to be in a good position to get picked by Joe Biden to be vice president," he asserted.

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Fueling speculation, in an episode of his newly launched podcast series, Biden said he was impressed by Whitmer's leadership in the state, and that he believes she is "one of the most talented people in the country in my view.”

However, Whitmer has also drawn harsh criticism both for butting heads with President Trump on medical equipment and for her stringent lockdown orders which prohibit Michiganders from landscaping, motor boating, golfing, traveling between residences and long-distance driving.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich., on  April 13, 2020.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich., on  April 13, 2020. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool)

"And, when you look at her decisions through that kind of lens, it raises some real questions about the wisdom of some of these orders. You know, in Michigan you are not allowed to buy seeds, for example. You are not allowed to plant a garden. I would think that if there was anything that you would want to encourage people to do at a time like this, it would be plant a garden. You are not allowed to go to your hunting cabin up north," Hurt told Henry.

"There are all sorts of rules like this that raise real questions [as to] whether or not they are in the best interest of the citizens – which is the only thing that matters, and that they adhere to constitutional guidelines – or [they are] issue-motivated by something political. And, if it's determined when all the smoke clears that she is motivated by something political, Ed, this could come back to haunt her in very bad ways," he warned.

In response to Whitmer's so-called "draconian" measures, the Michigan legislature is set to hold a special hearing on Friday on whether or not they should rein in some of Whitmer's emergency powers.

"You know, it's important to remember obviously: politicians are politicians. There's something inherently partisan about them. There's nothing you can do about that," Hurt remarked.

"But, the problem comes when – in an emergency like this – I think voters, whether they are in Michigan or anywhere, will give a lot of latitude to elected officials if they believe those elected officials are acting in the best interest of the people [and] trying their best to do the right thing at an unprecedented time," he stated. "The problem comes when you have somebody who appears to be making decisions that are more in line with trying to do what's best for them politically as opposed to what's best to get us through this, as I said, unprecedented situation."

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"And, you know, we'll see what happens with the legislature. Obviously, it's...Republican legislature so obviously there are politics there as well. But, I do think that, you know, generally reason tends to prevail among voters in situations like this," he concluded. "They are pretty good at sussing out what politicians' motives are in a situation like this."