Whitmer addresses husband's boat request, calls it 'a failed attempt at humor'

Whitmer addresses husband's boat request, calls it 'a failed attempt at humor'
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Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerHow Biden decided on Harris Women on Biden's rumored VP short list tweet support for choice of Harris The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden picks Harris as running mate MORE (D) on Tuesday addressed her husband’s controversial request that his boat be placed in the water in northern Michigan before Memorial Day weekend, during the coronavirus pandemic, calling it “a failed attempt at humor.”

Whitmer said she felt “compelled” to respond to Facebook posts and reports indicating that Marc Mallory had asked if being husband to the governor will “make a difference” after his initial request was denied.  

“My husband made a failed attempt at humor last week when checking in with the small business that helps with our boat and dock up north,” she said. 

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"Knowing it wouldn't make a difference, he jokingly asked if being married to me might move him up in the queue,” she added. "He thought it might get a laugh. It didn't, and to be honest, I wasn't laughing either when it was relayed to me.”

"He regrets it," Whitmer continued. "I wish it wouldn't have happened. That's really all we have to say about it." 

Mallory's request came after Whitmer announced the loosening of pandemic restrictions in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula but warned people to “think long and hard before you take a trip” to the area over Memorial Day weekend, prompting criticism from Republican lawmakers.

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During the press conference, Whitmer said her family has experienced “rampant rumors” and “violent death threats” because of her stay-at-home orders, including men with "automatic rifles" standing in view outside their home.

“My daughters have seen the likeness of their mother, hung from a noose in effigy,” she said. “We have weathered demonstrations that were egged on and participated in by some sitting Republican leaders.”

“Now I’m not going to be bullied into ignoring the science and making political calculations,” she added.

Michigan has confirmed 55,104 cases of coronavirus and 5,266 deaths, according to the state’s health department.

--This report was updated on May 27 at 8:28 a.m.