Michigan Republicans decry Whitmer's Florida trip as a 'scandal'

An official with the Michigan Republican Party admonished Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over what he called her "secret spring break vacation" that she took earlier this year to visit her ill father.

"It's been 62 days since the secret trip. The story from the governor's office keeps changing," said GOP Communications Director Ted Goodman.

Goodman honed in on the length of time the governor spent while in Florida, arguing her office initially said it was a two-day trip before she said it was actually four days. "So now we know from March 12 to 15, the governor admitted she was gone on those days."

Speaking before reporters prior to Goodman's conference, Whitmer scolded the GOP for targeting her decision to visit her dad, arguing it "was not a vacation and it was not a gift."

"I took a brief trip from Friday to Monday. Two full days I was there," she said. "This was a quick trip that I took. I think it's important to know like a lot of children of parents who have health issues or relatives who have health issues, I showed up when I was needed."

Whitmer also said the trip "was not paid for at taxpayer expense."

How the trip was paid for was among the chief talking points that Goodman emphasized during his 11 a.m. press conference.

"This is a scandal and we demand answers," he said.

He also argued that the governor had received special priorities when she left the state despite her recommendation she made "around that time" to not travel to Florida.

A spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party called the press conference "unhinged" and a "cheap attempt to manufacture a partisan distraction out of thin air."

"Once again, the MIGOP has made it loud and clear there is no low they won't stoop to in order to hurt Michigan families by delaying action or crucial COVID-19 relief and propping up the Big Lie via their disastrous voter suppression package," read a statement from Rodericka Applewhaite, senior communications advisor at the MDP.

Whitmer's trip came at a time with COVID-19 cases had bottomed out in the state and infection had slowed before it rose back up.

RELATED: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer traveled to Florida to visit her ill father

In a Let It Rip segment on FOX 2 last week, reporter Charlie LeDuff outlined how Whitmer had flown on a plane used by conservative donors that would cost tens of thousands of dollars to charter.

But the private affairs of a governor that doesn't influence state politics aren't of concern to the public, FOX 2 anchor Charlie Langton argued.