When Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer appeared on the April 1 episode of The Daily (Social Distancing) Show, she made sure to do so with a statement. Whitmer, videoing into the show from her office in Lansing, was there to discuss the COVID-19 outbreak in her state with host Trevor Noah, but viewers were paying attention to another facet of her interview. The governor, 48, was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with one of President Donald Trump‘s favorite Whitmer insults: “That Woman From Michigan”. It’s a reference to a shocking remark he made during his March 27 Coronavirus Task Force briefing while speaking about how governors should be more “appreciative” of the federal aid they’re receiving. Trump said that “most” of the governors requesting federal aid to tackle the COVID-19 crisis were friendly to him, and that the ones who weren’t (like Whitmer, supposedly), should be cautious.
When asked what he mean, he had this to say: “I think they should be appreciative because you know what? When they’re not appreciative to me, they’re not appreciative to the Army Corps. They’re not appreciative to FEMA. It’s not right. These people are incredible. They’re working 24 hours a day. Mike Pence — I mean, Mike Pence, I don’t think he sleeps anymore. These — these are people that should be appreciated. He calls all the governors. I tell him — I mean, I’m a different type of person — I say, ‘Mike, don’t call the governor of Washington. You’re wasting your time with him. Don’t call the woman in Michigan… In Michigan, all she does is — she has no idea what’s going on. All she does is saying [whining voice] ‘Oh, it’s the federal government’s fault.’”
Whitmer also received a Trump nickname on March 28. “I love Michigan, one of the reasons we are doing such a GREAT job for them during this horrible Pandemic. Yet your Governor, Gretchen “Half” Whitmer is way in over her ahead, she doesn’t have a clue. Likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude! #MAGA,” he tweeted. It has since been deleted. You can see Whitmer wearing her clever t-shirt in the photo and video below:
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) April 2, 2020
Whitmer’s tee, by the way, was created by a woman named Amanda Burden from Farmington Hills, Michigan. “In my opinion [Whitmer] has been busting her butt to take care of people in our state,” she said in an interview with WXYZ Detroit. And The Daily Show viewers were obsessed with her creation. “Thank you Trevor… this interview have just broke my heart 😢 You can feel the pain and despair in her voice but she is still standing by her people. ‘the woman from Michigan’ is an amazing leader in this unprecedented crisis! Stay strong Michigan! Greetings from France 🇫🇷 ❤️,” one compassionate fan wrote.
“That’s my governor!!! 😁 #ThatWomanInMichigan,” another tweeted. “I’m proud of ‘that woman from Michigan’. Thank you for caring about the people of Michigan, @GovWhitmer and @Trevornoah. We will get through this together.” And another proud viewer tweeted, “Sounds like ‘that woman’ knows what she’s doing. Thank you.”
Whitmer is a rising star among Democrats, and delivered the Democratic response to the State of the Union in January. Presidential candidate Joe Biden just announced that, should he get the party’s nomination, Whitmer is on his short list for potential VPs.