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Tipsheet

Whitmer Tries to 'Hide From Her Record' in Second Gubernatorial Debate

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

With two weeks until Election Day, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican Tudor Dixon squared off on a number of topics in their second and final debate Tuesday night.

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The women were first asked about abortion, which has been a central issue in the race, though voters will be the ones to decide on a ballot measure over whether to enshrine the right in the state constitution. Both candidates disagreed over what would be allowed under the constitutional amendment, with Dixon calling it the “most radical abortion law in the country,” and Whitmer saying it would simply restore abortion rights. 

On the topic of COVID-19, Whitmer claimed children were only kept out of school for three months. 

"I worked closely with my Republican and Democratic governors and kids were out for three months," she said. "The fact of the matter is education is what levels the playing field for people, and we've under-invested in it for decades." 

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Dixon countered that some children were kept out much longer than that.

“I'm pretty sure I just heard an audible gasp around town when Gretchen Whitmer said that kids were out of school for three months,” Dixon said. "Perhaps she wasn't paying attention to what was actually happening. We even had schools that were closed this year. Maybe she thinks she can convince you that schools were only closed for three months, but you know better because your students are the ones that are desperately behind." 

On the topic of inflation, Dixon said Whitmer "has not done anything to help," and pointed out that the Democrat vetoed a GOP measure to freeze the 27-cent-per-gallon gas tax in the state. 

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“A governor cannot fix global inflation, but what I can do is put more money in your pockets," Whitmer noted.

One point of agreement between the women came on the topic of COVID-19 vaccines for children. 

RealClearPolitics rates the Michigan governor’s race a toss-up, with Whitmer currently up 3.2 percentage points in the average of polls. 

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