Biden defends Michigan governor after Trump criticism

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination The Memo: Job numbers boost Trump and challenge Biden Chris Wallace: Jobs numbers show 'the political resilience of Donald Trump' MORE on Friday defended Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) after she came under withering criticism from President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Barr says he didn't give 'tactical' command to clear Lafayette protesters MORE.

“Facing a dangerous abdication of leadership from Donald Trump during this pandemic, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been a tenacious fighter for Michigan families,” Biden said in a statement released by his presidential campaign.

The statement comes amid a weeks-long feud between Whitmer and Trump, with the governor making public pleas for the Trump administration to provide assistance for the state to obtain medical equipment amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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Whitmer has hammered what she says was a slow response by Trump at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. She also claimed in an interview with a local media outlet Friday that vendors that have contracts with the state are being told “not to send stuff to Michigan.” 

Trump fired back this week in a Fox News interview by suggesting that Whitmer was the one taking insufficient action.

“She's not stepping up. I don't know if she knows what's going on. But all she does is sit there and blame the federal government. She doesn't get it done,” he said.

Biden pushed back, saying Whitmer has taken swift action to obtain critical tools to protect people from the virus but that more help is needed from federal sources.”

“Donald Trump could learn a thing or two from Governor Whitmer — speed matters, details matter, and people matter,” he said. “She’s secured more than 10 million N95 masks, more than 4 million gloves, thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer, and critical equipment for health care providers.” 

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“But that’s not enough — states like Michigan need more help from this administration,” he added. “Instead of delivering cheap shots on Fox News, it’s time for Donald Trump to deliver Michigan and other states more ventilators, masks and other personal protective equipment, and test kits.”

Whitmer provided Biden with a crucial endorsement ahead of the Wolverine State’s primary two weeks ago, which the former vice president ultimately won by double digits.

The Michigan governor has also been floated as a potential running mate for Biden, who has already vowed to select a woman as his No. 2 and is seeking to boost his appeal in critical Rust Belt swing states.