tv Campaign 2022 Michigan Governor Debate CSPAN October 25, 2022 8:59pm-9:59pm EDT
eastern on c-span and our free mobile video app, c-span now, or online at c-span.org. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more, including comcast. >> are you thinking this is just a community center? enough. >> comcast is partnering with thousand can -- thousands of community centers so low income families can have the tools they need to be ready for anything. comcast supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> michigan democratic governor gretchen whitmer, and tutor dixon, her republican challenger in the state's gubernatorial race, took part of a debate ahead of this year's midterm elections.
>> tonight, michigan's top political seat of grabs, and both candidates are going head-to-head. this is the final televised debate between democratic incumbent governor whitmer, and republican challenger, tudor dixon. this debate is airing live in every corner of the state, proudly sponsored by wxyz in detroit, wxmi in detroit, and oakland university in rochester. one hour dedicated to getting voters the answers they deserve. this debate starts right now. >> good evening and welcome to the live, statewide debate from
oakland university. it is an absolute leisure having all of you join us. candidates, thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. we know how busy your schedules are, especially just a few days before time for people to cast those ballots. i'm also pleased to be joined by two of my favorite journalists. >> hello, michigan. >> thank you both for being here. >> our worst enemy tonight is probably the tiktok on the clock, so we are going to move as quickly as we can. we have some ground rules we were go over -- we will go over so you understand. candidates have 90 seconds for opening and closing statements. that was negotiated beforehand. the order were negotiated in a
virtual draw a days ago. candidates will have 60 seconds to respond to questions from our panelists. they then will have 32nd rebuttals, each of them to the question. -- 30-second rebuttals, each of them to the question. >> governor whitmer, it seems we have our opening statements still to do. do you want to go ahead? gov. whitmer: thank you, and i want to thank our moderators and thank oakland university for hosting us tonight. i have lived here my whole life and i love this state. i was raised in a household where we had different perspectives but i shared set of values, and that's how i know when we stay focused on what matters, it is a lot easier to see we all want the same things -- great jobs and great schools, safe roads and safe communities. as governor, i worked across the
aisle to make sure we're building a foundation michiganders to thrive for generations. let me tell you what i've done -- the biggest investment in k-12 education, expanding tutors so we can get your kids back on track, 170,000 people in our state are now on tuition-free path to higher education so they can get higher paying jobs. we have expended jobs in life sciences, and we are bringing supply chains home and building chips here in michigan. that's the future of our economy, and i'm riding like hell to make sure women -- i'm fighting like hell to make sure women can make decisions about their own bodies. i will try to stay focused on our shared your trip. i know we have real opportunity. the big question is this -- are we going to go backward? or are we going to drive together for the future?
i say let's step on the accelerator. >> thank you, governor. ms. dixon: good evening and thank you. i'm excited to be here tonight. i'm a mom of four girls, a wife, a cancer survivor, and a worker. i spent many years on the shop floor of a steel country, and i understand what it is like to have kids locked out of school and try to get them back on track. i also know what it like to want safe communities where our kids can go out and ride their bikes. i know because i want the same things for my own children. i'm running for governor because gretchen whitmer has taken us on the wrong track. she has pushed a radical, progressive, socialist agenda and not listened to the problems you have every single day. radical agendas lead to dangerous things happening in the state. we have lost 82,000 jobs. our reading scores have plummeted, graduation rates have dropped, cities are less safe, and the roads are not fixed.
misplaced priorities, broken promises, and no plan -- that's what my opponent has to offer, but tonight, you have another opportunity. we can make a change. in 14 days, you can change course. in 14 days, you can put michigan back on the right track. i have traveled the state, and from day one, i have focused on my family-friendly plan for michigan. tonight, i will share that plan, and i hope to earn your vote on november 8. >> thank you, misses dixon. now we will get to questions. >> it seems there are some lingering questions about proposal three. if it passes in just a few weeks, how will you legislate if portions of that proposal have to work their way through the court? gov. whitmer: let me start with this -- proposal three is necessary to preserve the rights we have had for 39 years under roe v. wade.
when the supreme court decided to upend it and overrule roe v. wade, michigan was poised to revert back to a law that makes abortion lenny with no will -- no exceptions for rape and incest. the only reason it is not in effect right now is because of my lawsuit. we have an opportunity to enshrine roe v. wade into law. the other side will say all sorts of wild i things that are not true. parental rights and consent will still be a factor. we know that regulations will still be in effect. the simple truth is the way to protect women and ensure that your true generations have the same rights we have had for 49 years is by adopting proposal three, and i will be a yes vote. ms. dixon: it is unfortunate we are not being honest about what proposal three is. the governor has just been dishonest with you in her very first answer. we know that proposal three does remove parental consent.
it also makes it so that you don't have to be a doctor to perform an abortion, but it does align with her agenda. in her past, she has voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion and proposal three allows abortion up to the moment of birth for any reason, including sex selection. there will be no legislation around puzzle three because it will be language in the constitution, so we cannot put those rejections we have had in place back in place that we have had in place all these years. when governor whitmer tells you this is going to be roe, it is not even close. but it would be the most radical abortion law in the entire country. the only place that has something similar are china and north korea. >> governor whitmer, you have 30 seconds to rebut if you would like to. gov. whitmer: absolutely. none of what she just said is true and here's why you cannot trust anything she says -- she is the one that set it for teen-year-old child raped by her
uncle is a perfect example of someone who should not have reproductive rights and the ability to choose. she went further to say it is healing for a person who is raped to carry that child to term. i could not disagree more, and she has proven you cannot trust her on this issue. you want to protect roe v. wade rights, vote yes on three. ms. dixon: the people will decide what they want to do on abortion rights in the state of michigan. abortion rights will be decided by proposal three or by a judge. we already know that is the case in the state of michigan. the governor has the most radical opinion of abortion. she was asked twice in the last debate if she had any limits on abortion. she refused to answer because she has no limits on abortion. when she calls me extreme, the truth is there is no more extreme position than governor whitmer's on abortion.
>> let's stick with abortion. it is a very potent issue right now. very simple question -- we danced around it a moment ago in both your answers, but i want to know, in your case, misses dixon, if proposal three passes or any of these current bottles work out in the favor of any of these groups, will you accept that as the will of the people? ms. dixon: absolutely. i have said that since the beginning. i know the governor has around the constitution and does not believe that the governor is beholden to law or constitution, but i do not feel that way. absolutely if this is what the people want, i will enforce that. >> if proposal three fails, if any of these losses do not work out in favor of yourself or any of these groups seeking to codify abortion rights, will you accept that as the will of the people, governor?
gov. whitmer: you are asking a really interesting question. i think that's a question that should be posed misses dixon. she refuses to accept the outcome of the last election. she has not yet set she will accept the outcome of the next election, so when she says she will accept the will of the people, she is an exception deny her and has never ever said that joe biden actually won this last election. i want to go back to abortion rights. first of all, this is not about me. this is about women and girls in our state. this is about the ability to have bodily autonomy, be treated as a full american citizen. misses dixon will tell you here that she will abide by whatever happens with regard to ballot initiative three. behind closed doors, she tells her radical special interest groups she will do anything necessary to curtail abortion rights. my lawsuit is the only reason it is not in effect right now.
will she sign laws abridging those rights? >> just one thing to throw in, you said you don't support criminalizing abortion. that's exactly what this 1931 law on the books does, so in your rebuttal, i would like to know if you would make any changes to that. ms. dixon: i would like to comment on gretchen whitmer and her demeanor tonight, coming after me, calling me an election denier. we know this is going to be the way the evening goes, but i'm wondering when she will say she cannot run with lieutenant governor garlin gilchrist anymore because i believe he is also an election denier since he came out in 2017 and asked for a recount. he said the election system in detroit was i think the quote is "in complete chaos." i wonder when she will say she can no longer run with an election denier. >> 30 seconds to you, governor. gov. whitmer: that's silly. fighting to make sure women in the state still have the ability
to make our own decisions about our bodies and our futures. let's be clear -- the right to have reproductive choice is important for women of all ages from all walks of life. we know that women who go through ivf sometimes have to have selective induction to increase the odds they can carry to term. when a women who have a partial miscarriage -- we know that women who have a partial miscarriage sometimes need an abortion. >> inflation is something very much on the mind of michiganders. governor, i will begin with you. this is a question from mason smith. if you are who said with high levels of inflation hurting our pocketbooks, what that would you check with state legislators to help relieve the weight of inflation for michiganders?
i want to add to that, is this a sign that the whitmer-biden economic plan has failed? gov. whitmer: let's talk about inflation. we know there is global inflation. it is not unique to michigan or the united dates. the governor cannot fix global inflation, but what i can do is put more money in your pockets, and that is exactly what we have done, working in a bipartisan way with our republican legislature. we were able to help more than 1000 families get free or low-cost daycare. we are able to expand opportunities to have the state pickup 1/3 of the cost of daycare for working families, and we also have put 170,000 michiganders on the path to tuition-free skills. i put our fiscal house in order by paying down debt, got our credit rating upgraded, and that's how we can eliminate the
retirement tax, triple the earnings from tax credits, and pause the sales tax on gas, all proposals i have made that are sitting in front of the legislature. >> it is easy to criticize and point fingers when you are not in power. if you have been in power when all the things that have happened over the last four years had happened, what decisions would you have made that would have helped change what is going on with our economy, and if elected, what is your specific plan to make the economy better? ms. dixon: i have heard several times from gretchen whitmer that she will work with anyone and anything and that she is bipartisan, but she have actually vetoed quite a bit of opportunity to put money back into the pockets of the people. she vetoed the child tax credit. she vetoed two opportunities to reduce the income tax. she also vetoed help for retirement income. when she has had the opportunity to actually do that, she vetoed it.
even a gas tax holiday came to her and she vetoed that, but we know that part of her policy was to raise the gas tax by $.45 per gallon so you would be paying five dollars a gallon for gas right now. this governor has not done anything to help inflation, but i would put money back in your pockets. i would make sure we had that child tax credit, that we reduce income tax, and that our seniors on a fixed income are not receiving more taxes than they should and we can put more money back in their pockets. gov. whitmer: so listen, we have never raised gas tax, number one. in fact, we have cut it. number two, the bills misses dixon refers to are a gimmick. republicans wanted to tell you they were cutting your taxes, but they do not even take effect until spring of next year. i don't have time for games and i don't think you do, either. i would like to know how misses dixon plans to balance the budget giving $12 billion away
and not shifting costs onto you. that's where i would be most concerned. >> thank you, governor. misses dixon? >> she can work with anybody, but now the bills from republicans are a gimmick. i think she has been on the house for twice, so maybe she should have gone and try to negotiate so she could get the tax cuts. just so you know she never increase the gas tax -- yes, thanks to my lieutenant governor candidate who made sure we did not increase the gas tax, but even that in 2018, she set on the debate floor and said it was nonsense and ridiculous, the idea of raising the gas tax to pay for roads. it was one of the things she tried to do when she was in office. >> switching gears a little bit, people across the state have seen a significant spike in energy costs. just in the last couple of weeks, our viewers in lansing saw a significant increase. i'm curious -- how would you help michiganders afford
utilities this winter, and is there a change in the future of energy? ms. dixon: first and foremost, i think it is important to talk about line five. we know there is a lawsuit right now that gretchen whitmer would like to shut down in the state of michigan. that would be catastrophic and raise our energy costs at a time when exactly what you're saying -- we have people having trouble heating their homes. we know that line five provides 65% of the propane in the upper peninsula, 55 percent in the lower peninsula, and the jet you'll for the detroit airport. it is crucial we do everything we can to lower costs. another way to lower energy would have been to pass a gas tax holiday so people do not have to pay as much on their gas bill when they fill up their cars. we need to make sure we do everything possible in the state of michigan to lower the cost of energy for our people. gov. whitmer: first, let me clarify. there has been no change in live
5 -- line five. the permits have been executed, and visits sitting in front of the federal government. second, we know that costs have gone up on everything. that's why building out energy alternatives is really important to giving you alternatives to help bring down the cost of energy. that's why we have diversified and are continuing to do work on our portfolio. more wind, more solar. right now, michigan has the number one state for clean energy jobs in the country because we are focused on building out alternatives, ensuring our energy independence, protecting you from spikes and protecting our right lakes. it is not one over the other. we must do all of it. ms. dixon: we have to be really careful that we don't need cap our economy with a radical agenda.
even joe biden came out and said you cannot really shut this down . justin trudeau, who i would say is the most radical environmentalists in the entire world, came out and invoked a 1977 treaty telling gretchen whitmer she could not shut down line five. the only reason is it -- it is not shut down is because other people have stopped her radical energy agenda. gov. whitmer: mrs. dixon wants to do things the way they have always been done. i want to make sure we are expanding our energy alternatives in clean energy and being good stewards of our water. we know that climate change is already having huge impact. i showed up. i help people get through it, but we need to build out clean energy alternatives and be a driving force in the transition in our auto. >> thank you both.
>> shortly after we announced this debate, i heard from a viewer with a question about retirement tax, which i think a lot of people do. greg gets his income from an ira and 401(k) that he and his employers contributed to over the years. entering a first term, you promised to repeal the retirement tax. greg wants to know if you still plan to do that, but he takes it farther. he says if your plan -- that your proposed repeal would cover only pensions, but again, greg hits -- greg gets his retirement from a for a k, so would it cover all retirees? gov. whitmer: when i was in the legislature, the republican government pushed this tax and started taxing people who worked for a living, played by the rules, set aside money and now are living on income. i said it was wrong then, and it
is still wrong. i'm trying to repeal the retirement tax, but what's getting in my way is the republican legislature in lansing. i have done a lot of work with them, but they are standing in the way of us repealing this plea. you played by the rules and you should be able to reap the rewards of the work you did over a lifetime and not have this new tax when you are on income, so, absolutely, i have tried to get the retirement tax repealed. a republican legislature is standing in the way. with a second term and a new legislature, i'm hopefully we can get it done. >> if you are elected, what is your plan for the retirement tax? ms. dixon: your exact question, that actually did go to the governor's desk, and that was another of her line item vetoes. she had the opportunity to reduce that. she did stand on the debate stage in 2018 and said that one of her top priorities was to eliminate the retirement tax, but as you noted, that would be
for public pensions, not all retirees, so i do want you to be assured that i feel it is very important that we make sure that money goes back into the pockets of all retirees in the state of michigan, especially as we head into a recession. we have already seen massive inflation because of the biden-whitmer policies. the recession is right at our doorstep, and i want to make sure we get as much money back to our retirees as possible. >> thank you. governor, i will remind you that in your second term, you very well could have a gop legislature. gov. whitmer: i think we will have an much more reasonable legislature because we just went through redistricting. i'm hoping we will get legislators who are representative of the people they serve. i think it is important to ask questions. mrs. dixon said she will eliminate the retirement tax. how will she balance the budget? she has set she will cut income tax. how is she going to balance that?
she has toyed with the sales tax. is she going to raise the sales tax an additional eight cents? these are questions i think we need answers to. ms. dixon: i have talked about repealing the income tax over time, irresponsible reduction of income tax and removing it over and eight to 10-year period. this is not a radical concept. we have nine states in the nation that already have no income tax. not only do they have no income tax, but they are thriving economically, and as we bring more people into the state, you have more revenue as a state. if we can look to the future and balance our budget better, the governor put an additional $20 billion into the budget in the four years she has been there. >> thank you very much. we have a couple more questions on another important topic, which everyone says they are very concerned with. anna in madison heights wants to
know what you will do to help improve public schools in michigan. also, ellie of bloomfield hills, along the same lines, wants to know how you will change education in the state and keep oversight over state superintendence and the michigan department of education. have you talked with organizations concerned about education? business leaders and others will tell you we are not a top 10 state yet. that is one of our goals. we recently saw that test scores for reading and math have plunged. how will you make us a top 10 state? gov. whitmer: as you noted, we are not a top 10 state. we are not even close. we are actually a bottom 10 state. we just got test results back and we are doing horribly in reading and math for fourth and eighth graders. this is something that has been a pillar of my campaign, to
bring education back in the state of michigan. not only do we want to make sure parents are involved in education but we want to make sure kids are back on track from the pandemic. most states that had schools out as long as michigan, which there are very few, have had comprehensive tutoring programs go into their schools. the governor has talked about literacy coaches going into our schools. i have not found any schools that have literacy coaches yet, but i want to have a comprehensive program for every school across the state to make sure they get back on track from the years of online learning that they endured under this governor's policy. but, you have been in office -- governor, you have been in office for years.
why has education not gone where you needed it to go? gov. whitmer: i worked closely with my legislature. kids were out for three months. education is what levels the playing field, and we have under invested in it for decades. we got the biggest investment in public education done in a bipartisan way to support teachers, to bring down class-size, to add things like mental health support, tutors, and literacy culture, making class sizes smaller. this is how we improve outcomes, but it has only been a couple years, and we have had a pandemic to navigate. the reason kids were out of school during the pandemic is because we were working off of knowledge from 1918 went kids died from the last global pandemic. as a mom, all i was thinking about is saving the lives of our kids. ms. dixon: i'm pretty sure i
just heard an audible gasp around town when gretchen whitmer said kids were out of school three months. perhaps she was not paying attention to what was happening. we even had schools that were closed this year. this is shocking to me that she thinks schools were even close for three months. or maybe she thinks she can convince you that schools were only closed for three months, but you know better because your kids are the ones that are desperately behind, and she is being dishonest about even trying to get into these schools to get these schools back on track. gov. whitmer: that is just not true, but what i will say is we have made a historic investment, and that is precisely how we have laid the groundwork to get to michigan being a top 10 state for literacy. that is the goal we all have to get behind. the problem is mrs. dixon is elected, she and her biggest funder, betsy devos, will be writing the education budget, and their plan is to take $500 million out of our public school
system. you want to get kids to top 10 literacy, draining the school fund of resources will not get us there. >> candidates, we continue to see violence in our schools. just this week, the alleged oxford school shooter pled guilty, and we have heard talk of hardening our schools. what does that mean to you and can you describe what it will look like in practice? gov. whitmer: listen, i have to tell you, as a former prosecutor who ran exercises with our police department for active shooters, it is for -- it is horrible to see what happened in oxford and what plays out in this country every single day. as a mom, i am furious that in this country and only this country, guns are the number one killer of our children. i said secure storage. i support red flag laws. i support background checks. when mrs. dixon was asked if she supports secure storage, which
is what oxford families were asking for, she said, i don't know what it is. she supports more guns in school . her plans are downright dangerous, and the same month that the oxford shooting happened, she posted a picture of herself with a gun and the caption saying, "gun control means using both hands." she might think this is a joke, but i think there's nothing funny about it. ms. dixon: how manipulative to comment on a post i made 29 days before the shooting even occurred? but that's what we expect when we talk to gretchen whitmer, right? let me be clear about something -- what is happening in our schools, when we have a school shooting, it is devastating. i have no moral for school-age daughters that i'm concerned about every single day -- i have 4 school-age daughters that i'm concerned about. you asked what hardening our schools looks like. i would like to have armed
security. i would like to make sure we have one entry point. i would also like to implement some of the plan that talked about how to identify a child that struggles with mental health, that might be considering self harm or harming someone else. this is something we just heard the department of ed say they would not even tell parents about, and gretchen whitmer has been silent. we need an officer -- we need an office of safe schools that states like florida have to make sure we have safe schools and if we had implemented the 2018 report, we might have saved lives. gov. whitmer: there was a shooting in missouri yesterday in a district that had exactly what she described -- one point of entry, armed guards, and people are dead. we have been trying that for 30 years. it is not working. it is time to try proven policies -- background checks, secure storage, red flag laws. i'm not trying to keep people from hunting. i'm just trying to keep
communities safe. who will keep your children safe? the governor with plans or the former candidate with thoughts and prayers. ms. dixon: she has been a career politician for 20 years but has not seemed to come up with answers to this yet. her concern is taking guns away from law-abiding citizens. i want to make sure our kids are safe. i don't want our kids in a sitting duck zone where the only person that has a weapon is the shooter going in to take their lives. i want to make sure we are as safe as possible in the state of michigan, and as a mom, i think you can rely on me to make sure it happens. >> we have heard of a lot of efforts across the state and across the nation, for that matter, to ban access to books. as governor, how do you make sure kids have access to inclusive literature while
making sure parents and teachers feel heard on the issue? we have had libraries say they are in danger of closing because people are voting against millage is based on this issue in my home town. what do you do as governor? how did you handle this? ms. dixon: what i have heard from parents across the state is inappropriate content in school libraries. that's the biggest concern i'm hearing about you we are talking about sexual content. we are talking about pornography in schools. parents have risen up across the state and asked vegan with her, and she has been silent on the issue, so i'm anxious to hear what she has to say. if you have material in your school that is something you cannot read to a child at a bus stop because you would be arrested because it is pornographic, then it should not be in our classrooms. what these parents are talking about are not textbooks that will help children learn about themselves. these are books that are
describing two children how to have sex, and parents are outraged about it across the state. i stand with those parents that want to make sure we go back to the basics of reading, writing, and math in our schools. gov. whitmer: let me start with this -- as a public school parent, i know we have rights to understand the curriculum, the material, to opt our children out think it does not keep in line with our desires. parents can attend parent-teacher conferences, take heart in the debates happening at the local level, where they should be so parents can be involved. we also have a duty to make sure all children feel accepted and safe and can learn and play when they are in school. i reject the false choice that it has to be one or the other. i see politicians try to wedge communities against one another.
it is dangerous and selfish. mrs. dixon hosted someone on her show that set martin luther king jr. should not be in our history books. this is what we are talking about. we need to bring down the temperature and solve problems, make sure parents are involved and students feel comfortable and we are giving them a robust education. ms. dixon: i guess we have received the answer now that she is not going to stand with parents on this issue who are crying out across the state. i had a gentleman come up to me just a few nights ago and said, i found content in my school library describing how to have sex to my son. i went to the democrats and said, i cannot believe that this is in there, and they said, you are no longer part of our party. he said just a few weeks ago, not only was i a democrat, but i was running for office as a democrat. he said because democrats won't stand up for our children and go back to the basics, i'm leaving the democrat party.
gov. whitmer: do you really think books are more dangerous than guns? do you really think that will pose a greater danger to our kids and gun violence does? mrs. dixon is trying to distract us and trying to divert attention on the fact he is bankrolled by betsy devos. she has endorsed betsy devos' plan to drain $500 million out of your schools. that's why she is waging these fights. we have to protect our kids. >> governor, four years ago, you won election mainly because of a phrase that you used that said, "fix the damn roads." we know construction is going on because everywhere we go we see the orange cones. my question is -- are we building better roads or just putting band-aids on a cancer? gov. whitmer: the reason i focus
on roads is because it can be money out of rent or money out of childcare. we are addressing decades of disinvestment. we have already rebuilt 13,000 miles, 900 bridges. there are orange cones and barrels all over the state. we are fixing roads. the fact of the matter is this is a huge issue for our economy. our personal safety. it is so crucial we continue this work, but it is all in jeopardy as we think about what michigan will look like 4, 8, 12 years down the road, we have to focus on infrastructure, but with plans to cut the budget and no plan to replace it, that will set us decades back. it will mean much -- money on public safety and our kids' education. we cannot have that from leadership. >> quick follow-up -- yes or no,
are we using better materials? gov. whitmer: we are. we are using the right mix and materials, and as you can see as you are driving by, we are taking the roads all the way down the gravel and rebuilding them. they are built to last, not just papering over them as has unfortunately been done for years prior to my taking office. it's will you continue what we see going -- >> if elected, will you continue what we see going on? ms. dixon: we will work to make sure there actually is a plan for the roads. she stood on the debate stage four years ago and said there was a plan, but let's were member, there was no plan. the plan was to raise the gas tax $.45 a gallon and you would be paying five dollars a gallon now. that did not work. when she was given funding by the legislature because she did not get her gas tax increase, she vetoed it. she also vetoed autism funding for families in a tantrum
because she did not get her funding. four years ago when she stood on the debate stage, in the four years the budget increased by nearly $20 billion, you would have thought she would be able to find road funding in that time to fix roads instead of just throwing a bunch of orange barrels out before the next election. gov. whitmer: listen, i'm not even going to respond to all of that. i'm going to tell you this. we are committed to fixing the roads, rebuilding this state. what is up next is miller road bridge. 696, 275. these are important arteries for this part of the state that you will see work done. we need to continue this. it does not end. we have to continue to rebuild infrastructure, but we are making headway, and we have to put our foot on the gas. ms. dixon: people are wondering when the road from their house to work will be fixed. when will that be a priority?
a broken rim is devastating. i know because i had one this year. i have had five flat tires on these roads. they are a total disaster and are costing the people of michigan $5,000 a year in road repairs. if this is how she fixes the roads, i guess we can look back at her other problem fixes, too, transparency, water, fixing the roads -- failures. >> in this same infrastructure vein, i'm curious, how would you improve internet infrastructure and access? i hope to hear a concrete plan. >>'s it's critical for us to work with our private sector to expand these projects across the state of michigan, and once we do that, we will seek the economic development that we so desperately need. not only are our children suffering because we don't have broadband, especially during the
time when they were kept at home for online learning, which is why so many of our kids are so far behind, but even our farmers are suffering because they do not have access to broadband. i will partner with broadband companies and talk about how they can expand. one of the great things about the tunnel that we will rebuild his we can also run broadband access through that tunnel and make sure we can expand our access into the upper peninsula, and i will make sure to take advantage of that tunnel. gov. whitmer: i am so grateful that the chamber of commerce for northern michigan has endorsed my candidacy. this is because we have been working closely to make sure we have created an office of rural development. we created an office specifically about increasing broadband access. 23,000 homes have already been added online. what we cannot afford is for the
governor to take political potshots instead of rolling up their sleeves for reform. we need a governor who is not going to score political points but roll up her sleeve and get things done. $10 billion is coming in to michigan. we will deploy those resources to make sure we get everyone connected. we are making progress, and there's more good work to do, but we've got to continue the work and not play political games. i will fight for every dime to come into the state of michigan so i can make your life better. ms. dixon: you should be careful where all your dimes go if gretchen whitmer is in charge because she just offered 715 million of your taxpayer dollars to a chinese corporation to come to the state of michigan, so she wants she is improving economic development and keeping autumn on -- automotive jobs here, but we are seeing jobs go outside of michigan unless they are owned
by the chinese and have strong ties to the chinese communist party. your text pair dollars are not safe with gretchen whitmer. -- your taxpayer dollars are not safe with gretchen whitmer. gov. whitmer: there is a lot to take in on that one. mrs. dixon has worked against economic development incentives that i worked in a bipartisan way to get done. if she was governor, none of those projects would be happening. we cannot unilaterally think we are going to build the economy of the future. >> we got another question that we got quite a bit of submissions on on no-fault auto insurance. people like maureen's son who was involved in a catastrophic crash want to know what would be done to help survivors.
those benefits were taken away during your administration, governor. how do we provide access to care for these folks? gov. whitmer: michigan in the past historically has had the highest insurance rates in the country. i worked with republicans in the legislature to give michigan residents some choices. give consumers the ability to pick what level of insurance they want. now people can make that choice, and we have seen rates come down , and we also know this has helped drivers drive insured. were people were not buying insurance previously. there has also been a group of people injured that we knew to -- we need to make sure they get the care they contracted for at the rate so they can actually get those services. there has been a lawsuit. the case is still in front of the court, but i and trying to reach out to the legislature to help make sure we address those rates and ensure rates are being
paid on time. >> if you are elected, folks would be looking to you for this help. what would you do? >> we had people in detroit that could not even get insurance for their car, and they were paying thousands of dollars just to drive every month. that was devastating. sometimes legislation has unintended consequences. we have seen that with this legislation. the governor knew there was going to be a lawsuit when she decided to give away the catastrophic injury fund and give $400 checks back to everybody in michigan, even though these people were desperate to find out how they would continue to get care. now that the lawsuit has gone through, you are going to get a bill for $48 because she gave you those checks just a little too soon and we have to make sure we take care of those people who had that contract to make sure their lives are the same quality as they were before.
gov. whitmer: mrs. dixon is deciding how ill-prepared -- is showing how the prepared she is for this job. the governor does not decide what the checks are going to be. ms. dixon: i'm glad she admitted that because her commercials are constantly saying she gave checks to everyone, so i'm glad that she admitted she actually is not putting money into the pockets of michigan people. >> thank you both. >> ms. dixon, next question goes to you. i'm going to take this in a lightly different direction and perhaps you might not need rebuttals. in the interest of civility and certainly something that governor milliken, the longest-serving governor of this state talked about, i want to ask you to encourage the best and the brightest to enter the field of public service, what can you say positive about your opponent and the political party that she represents? ms. dixon: my opponent always
talks about her daughters, and as a mom of girls, i think that is so important to come out and encourage your daughters and love your daughters. she has also made sure she has fought for women, and i love that about her. i think that we can continue that tradition and make sure we take care of women and make sure women are protected in this state. is so important. >> a, same question. gov. whitmer: i would say something similar. i think moms' voices are important. we obviously have different perspectives, all moms are not the same, but i appreciate how difficult it is and applaud any woman who is willing to put herself out there and at the same time balance all the different pressures that we working moms have. >> would you like a rebuttal? [laughter] i did not think so. >> changing gears a little bit,
we had one epidemic that was sort of eclipsed by the pandemic. i'm curious how you will address the opioid crisis here in michigan. how can you address the influx of internal with the ongoing opioid crisis here in our state? >> i often talk about my own mother who died of brain cancer right after my first daughter was born. i was taking care of two generations of my family, and i know how hard that was, and that is why i have worked so hard to expand access to health care. when i was in the senate, we got medicaid expansion done, and today, millions more have health care because of that work. there is no question that we have got in over your crisis in this country. it was the greedy pharmaceutical companies that buffalo the people of this country. that's why the resources we are putting into addiction
treatment, the resources we are putting into ensuring more people have access to health care is so incredibly important. this is a state where we've got more good work to do, but we are making progress. ms. dixon: we have seen a massive increase in overdoses. 2021 was the highest number we have ever seen, and we can correctly correlate this -- we can directly correlate this to the whitmer-biden policies of having an open border. we know drugs are pouring across our borders every day. we have seen drug overdoses rise since this administration took office. it has been devastating. that's why i presented my plan to put $1 billion into policing, to make sure we have enough police on the street. i went to the oakland county crime let the other day. the woman there was testing two giant blocks of cocaine and then she pulled out one of fentanyl. i asked where it came from, and she told me it had come from just down the street in pontiac in a house.
i ask how many people that fentanyl could kill and she said millions. if we had more officers on the streets, we could be preventing a lot more overdose deaths. i want to make sure we have the backs of our cops and we invest in our cops and we make sure they have what they need to fight this horrible scourge on our country. >> governor, if you would like a rebuttal, i'm also curious if you would expand things like access to narcan and things like that. gov. whitmer: absolutely. one of the things we have not yet talked about but need to is about crime. we know that our police put their lives on the line every single day. i is governor have made too many phone calls and attended too many funerals. that's why i have delivered over $1 billion more for locking -- law enforcement in michigan to recruit, to train, to make sure they have the wraparound support they need to do their job. it is a hard job, but this is i think one of the most important
things that we have not really yet talked about. ms. dixon: narcan is obviously very important. we have seen our pharmacies distribute it, but i think it is important to note is is not just about going up and having cops on the street. it is also about taking care of our corrections officers and making sure that when someone commits a crime that we get those drug dealers off the streets and they cannot commit more crime and cause more deaths in the state of michigan. >> thank you both. >> the cdc recommended adding covid-19 vaccines to the recommended immunization schedule. not a mandate, this was a recommendation. this happens every single year. as governor of michigan, do you take them up on that recommendation and make sure that the covid 19 vaccination be required for school attendance? ms. dixon: yeah, i want to be
very clear about this. this is a parents' decision. there will never be a mandate for the covid-19 vaccine for children to go to school in a dixon administration. i'm anxious to hear what gretchen whitmer has to say because she was forcing a vaccine on people. remember her program vax to normal? you could only get your freedoms back if you got your neighbor vaccinated. i want you to know i would never push the covid vaccine on your children. that is your choice and will always be your choice as long as i am your governor. gov. whitmer: no, i do not support requiring the covid vaccine for children, but let's talk about covid. it hit our state hard. it hit this community incredibly hard. we had hospitals that were full. we had morgues that were full. we had refrigerated trucks outside of hospitals because we did not even have enough masks for doctors and have a place to receive people.
we made decisions to save lives, and studies show we saved thousands. i am proud of that. but while i was getting death threats saving lives during covid, my opponent was selling conspiracy theories. she even said that vaccines carried the mark of the beast and government trackers. it is that kind of religionist that actually endangers people. if she had been governor during covid, thousands more people would have died. ms. dixon: if that were at all true, why would i have gotten the vaccine myself? the governor is being dishonest once again, but that's what you do when you don't have policies to run on, when you kill more seniors than on most any other state, when you were told to stop a policy but kept it going, when you have such extreme unemployment fraud that you lost $8.5 billion worth of taxpayer money. she crushed our economy.
3000 restaurants died under gretchen whitmer and never came back. >> mrs. dixon, i'm sorry, i have to keep us on time. one more rebuttal, governor. gov. whitmer: i think you know what our priorities are. hers would have been the bottom line. mine work children, seniors, protecting people. as soon as vaccines became available, i deployed the michigan national guard to work when there's some homes to make sure that it seniors one of the vaccine that they got it. had she been governor during that same time, thousands more nursing home residents would have passed away. >> thank you. candidates, it is now time for your closing statements. we promised you beforehand we would reserve 90 seconds each for you all to be able to do that. according to the agreement on the draw had beforehand, governor whitmer, you go first. mrs. dixon, you get the final word. gov. whitmer: as i think about the next four years and our
future, i cannot help but think of my own kids and all the young people in their generation. they will be making decisions about where to build their life, and i sure hope it's in michigan. in a second term, i will stay focused on building michigan where every person can get a good paying job with a secure retirement. children can be safe in their communities free from discrimination and hate and make their own decisions about their bodies. this is an important election. my opponent has shown tonight that she is more interested in dividing us, halting our progress, and dragging us backward. when she is not scripted and onstage stage, she stokes violence, spreads conspiracy theories. working women, teachers, we need to come together and solve problems. as governor for four more years,
i hope to have the opportunity to continue this service and i will always put your interests first. i want to thank all of the republicans and independents who have supported me. i want to thank the police organizations and business groups that have endorsed me, and of course, my longtime supporters. i say let's continue to move our state forward, build a brighter future for future generations. this is a great state and our future is bright. i'm asking for your votes. ms. dixon: like many of you, i had children out of school for several years. like many of you, i had a small business crushed. like many of you, i lost a loved one. gretchen whitmer does not want to be defined by her carelessness, or dishonesty, or her hypocrisy during that time, but even if we did not look at that, we would look at her governorship and see disappointment. her radical policies have crushed the state. her choices have in destructive,
but don't worry -- there is another choice. michigan, you are not better off now than you were four years ago. in fact, we are in the top 10 for crime in the nation. we are in the bottom 10 for reading and math in the nation. we lost 82,000 jobs, and we lost more small businesses than any other state. gretchen whitmer will stand on the stage tonight and tell you that is success, but you all saw the pain of her failure, and you deserve it or. if you choose me, i will put cops over criminals. i will put parents over politics. i will put students over systems, and i will make sure we put money back into your pockets and do a better job with the money we have. i will bring back common sense, and i will make sure we have better schools, more jobs, safer communities, and reliable roads. i want to be your governor, and i want to bring back a family michigan. i ask for your vote on november
8, and i promise to serve you well. god bless you. >> governor, mrs. dixon, thank you so much for coming in, for engaging in not on but two statewide debates, the last one being today, and facing the voters -- this is very important -- before they go in and make their final decision on election day. we also want to thank our partners for being wonderful hosts here in all that we have put them through. they have an good sports and we appreciate it. and i want to thank my fellow panelists. thank you so much from grand rapids and to the city of lansing in the middle of our state and we want to thank all of you at home for joining us. don't forget to vote on tuesday, november 8. polls are open from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. have a good evening. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2022] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> south carolina governor henry
mcmaster and his democratic challenger joe cunningham took part in the states governors debate hosted by south carolina educational television. our coverage begins wednesday at 7:00 p.m. on c-span, online at c-span.org or on our free mobile video app, c-span now. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. where funded by these television companies and more, including media,. >> the world changed. media comm was ready. internet traffic soared and we never slow down. schools and businesses when virtual and we powered a new reality. we are built to keep you ahead. >> media comm, support c-span, along with these other television providers, giving your a front row seat to democracy. >>