Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) claimed in a Monday interview that the state capitol is rife with “sexism,” Bridge magazine reported.
“It’s really depressing, honestly,” Whitmer said.
“This culture hasn’t changed. This isn’t new,” the former legislator added.
“What is new is that there’s a bold set of women in the workforce that aren’t going to take it. They are documenting and they are speaking their truths, and that I find a great deal of inspiration in.”
Whitmer’s claim came as dueling scandals continue to raise questions about her response to the coronavirus.
Over 5,600 elderly Michiganders died in nursing homes after she ordered coronavirus-infected patients into long term care facilities to recuperate, instead of utilizing two field hospitals created to treat them.
A recent poll showed 63 percent of respondents opposed her policy.
At the same time, questions arose about a secret agreement Whitmer’s administration struck with former Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon to maintain confidentiality about his time in her government.
The same survey, commissioned by Michigan Rising Action, found 72 percent of likely voters objected to the arrangement.
State Rep. Daire Rendon (R) told Breitbart News it was “convenient” Whitmer was raising the issue now.
“She always uses her gender as a fallback to defend herself and play the victim. Truth is, she made those decisions on her own, and she cannot find any other reason to shift the blame and deflect the spotlight.”
State Sen. Lana Theis (R), chairwoman of the Senate Insurance and Banking Committee, as well as the Education and Career Readiness Committee, was equally critical of Whitmer’s accusation.
“As with anything in life, context is key. The governor’s comment was political – she’s name calling to fit a political narrative, painting herself as the victim to excuse her lack of interaction with the legislature from the very beginning,” Theis told Breitbart News.
She’s trying to win hearts and minds and, thus, sympathy, headlines and votes. To blanketly state that the Capitol is rife with sexism ignores reality.
The three top elected officials in Michigan are women. Female lawmakers like myself serve as chairwomen of numerous committees, addressing the most important issues of our time. Female legislators were elected by both male and female colleagues to positions of leadership within our own caucuses. A significant number of legislators’ most trusted advisors – their chiefs of staff — are women. The evidence does not support her accusation. This is not to say that there aren’t sexist individuals – of course there are – but having so many women in positions of leadership within the institution flatly debunks the claim. Passions run deep in this business and one must be able to handle the criticisms that come with it – not just dole them out.
“The easiest thing to do politically these days is for someone to blame sexism for their own lack of ability to work with people,” Theis said.
Rendon said she has not “seen any evidence” of sexism at the capitol.
“We aren’t in the Capitol enough to interact on a basis that would even support that,” she told Breitbart News.
Theis supported a supplemental budget bill that allocated $250,000 to county prosecutors investigating nursing home deaths in their jurisdictions as a result of Whitmer’s policy.
“If our governor had listened to the experts and kept COVID-19-positive patients out of our nursing homes, this bill wouldn’t be necessary,” she said in a statement.