Gretchen Whitmer has used Democrats' response to President Trump's State of the Union address to swivel from impeachment to working-class voters' worries, saying her party is focusing on easing health care costs and other pocketbook concerns. Whitmer, speaking from East Lansing High School, mentioned Trump's impeachment trial only briefly near the end of her nearly 11-minute speech Tuesday night, the AP reports. She sprinkled in passing references to his behavior, such as “Bullying people on Twitter doesn’t fix bridges—it burns them." But she spent the bulk of her address touting Democratic efforts on health care and people's struggles to pay their bills.
"It doesn’t matter what the president says about the stock market," said Whitmer, who is seen as a potential vice presidential nominee. "What matters is that millions of people struggle to get by or don’t have enough money at the end of the month after paying for transportation, student loans, or prescription drugs." In Democrats' Spanish-language response, freshman Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar also spoke of health care and workers' struggles to get by. She also described last August's mass killing in her hometown of El Paso by a shooter who she said "used hateful language like the very words used by President Trump to describe immigrants and Latinos." (After Trump finished speaking, Nancy Pelosi ripped up her copy of his speech.)