LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is backing Joe Biden for president days before the state’s Democratic primary, giving the former vice president another boost after his success on Super Tuesday.
Whitmer, who had not been planning to endorse a 2020 candidate, says Biden “has our backs.” She cites his work with President Barack Obama to add health coverage for millions of people and to rescue two of the Detroit Three automakers, General Motors and Chrysler, from financial ruin.
“He showed up for the people of Michigan when our health care and our auto industry were on the line,” the first-term governor said in a statement released Thursday to The Associated Press. “He helped us pick ourselves up and get back to work. I know he’ll do the same as president.”
Of the six states voting next Tuesday, Michigan is the biggest prize in what has effectively become a two-man race between Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — with 125 pledged delegates at stake, the ninth-most overall. It also will be a crucial upper Midwest battleground in the fall.