Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer Breaks Silence on Replacing Biden in 2024

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently shot down speculation about whether she will seek to replace President Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket if he steps down or is forced to drop out of the race.


This development comes amid the still-ongoing fallout from President Biden’s poor debate performance against former President Donald Trump.

Whitmer recently participated in an interview with The Associated Press that centered on her upcoming book release. She commented on news reports suggesting that she might throw her hat into the ring to replace the embattled president.

Set to release Tuesday amid the frenzy over President Joe Biden’s recent debate performance, “True Gretch” won’t do much to dispel questions about her national ambitions. But in a pre-launch interview with The Associated Press, Whitmer did what she could to shut down such speculation, saying bluntly that she would not step into the election if Biden were to step down.

“It’s a distraction more than anything,” said Whitmer. “I don’t like seeing my name in articles like that because I’m totally focused on governing and campaigning for the ticket.”

The governor has been serving as co-chair of Biden’s campaign and admitted that Biden did not perform up to standards in another interview. “I think everyone has acknowledged it was not his finest 90 minutes,” she said before praising him for “decades of public service receipts that he’s delivered to people.”


Whitmer’s primary issue has been abortion, a topic that Democrats have leveraged since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. She has argued that if Trump wins a second term, he will further attack abortion rights.

The Associated Press interview was the first time Whitmer directly addressed speculation about her presidential aspirations. An earlier Politico report suggested that “someone close to a potential 2028 Whitmer rival for the Democratic presidential nomination” claimed that “Whitmer had phoned [Biden campaign manager Jennifer] O’Malley Dillon” to argue that Michigan “was no longer winnable for Biden” after his poor debate performance.

Whitmer repudiated the report, saying that it is “frustrating that there are news outlets that will publish something that a potential future opponent’s staff person would say.”

Whitmer’s name has been one of several prominent Democratic politicians that have been floated as a possible replacement for Biden. The others include Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Vice President Kamala Harris, and others.

Polling since the debate has shown that Trump is widening the lead between himself and Biden. It has also revealed that an increasing percentage of Democratic voters believe the president is too old to continue running the country.


The president reportedly expressed doubts last week that he could still win the election after the debate, as prominent Democrats have publicly called for him to drop out of the race and let a new candidate take up the mantle. Hundreds of business leaders recently signed on to a statement urging the president to leave the race.

Several donors have indicated that they would not continue supporting Biden and would instead focus on other Democratic candidates. During an interview with ABC News, one anonymous donor said he had planned to hold a fundraiser for the president. However, he is struggling to get other donors to participate.

“We had been talking to [Biden’s] team about doing a fundraiser, but I cooled off on it. I struggled to get other people involved,” the donor recalled. “People were not bullish on Biden. Now, it is a ‘hell no.’”



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