LANSING, Mich. (FOX 2) - At one point in time, the Michigan governor was given a proposition to debate the former vice president. She turned down the offer, but she would entertain another one: a debate against the former president.
"There was a national outlet that thought it would be a great idea about a year and a half ago for me to debate Mike Pence. And all I could think was ‘how does that help people of Michigan?" she said. "It doesn’t, so no way Jose."
Gretchen Whitmer and Donald Trump had a confrontation during the Covid pandemic and have remained at odds ever since. When asked if she would be willing to do a televised debate with Trump, if the goal would be to raise money for charity, she'd consider it.
"A hundred-thousand dollars could do a lot of good for some organizations. I don't want to debate Donald Trump," she said. "(but) I'm not looking for opportunities to have a national profile. I'm not."
Whitmer's national profile exists anyway. She serves on President Joe Biden's re-election committee and says she has concerns on several fronts. Chief among them is a recent comment that he may not be running if Trump wasn't also running.
In her mind, she's thinking "damage control."
"One of the things that makes him so relatable is that he is not perfect," she said. "He is not always thinking ‘how is this going to play.’ He tells you what his heart is and I think that is a great strength."
Another issue Biden is facing is an unavoidable one: his age. Whitmer says he's being treated unfairly.
"I do think it's fascinating that age is being used against one of the front-runners and not the other," she said.
Biden is "a little slower, he's a little stiffer" but hasn't slowed down intellectually or emotionally, Whitmer says, having seen Biden in action.
Watch the full interview between Whitmer and Tim Skubick on WKAR.org Friday.