Gov. Whitmer outlines plans for Michigan's future in exclusive interview with Carolyn Clifford

Posted at 3:14 PM, Jan 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-25 18:24:55-05

(WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer will deliver her 5th State of the State address tonight. This time her speech will take place in the Michigan House Chambers in front of a joint session of the Michigan House and Senate and, for the first time, Democrats will be in the majority.

The governor is expected to talk about the economy, jobs, and personal freedom.

Carolyn Clifford got a chance to sit down with the governor yesterday in Brighton to talk about how she feels since her life was threatened, whether she would consider higher office, and how she plans to move Michigan forward in the next four years.


The Governor has been busy since being re-elected. As she begins her next four years, she is relieved justice prevailed against the men who threatened her life.

WXYZ’s Carolyn Clifford asked, “How are you and your family doing?”

“I'm great. There's a lot of challenges when a member of the family holds public office, especially with all the ugliness in this political environment. Yet they are all doing very well,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

During her fifth State of the State, the road map to a brighter future for Michigan will be her guide without the dark cloud of the pandemic or a Republican lead legislature.

“For the first time you will have a Democratic majority, what's that feel like?” asked Clifford.

“It feels good, I'm excited about the State of the State, the last one I gave was three years ago, right before the pandemic and it turned all of our lives upside down,” said Whitmer.

She says it will be great to be back in the chamber and celebrating some historic moments.

“Great to be there with the first Black Speaker in Michigan history, the first women Senate Majority Leader in the history of Michigan,” said Whitmer.

The governor insists she will find common ground and work across the aisle. Bread and butter issues are critical as she heard during a roundtable discussion in Brighton.

“What are the top three things on your agenda for 2023?” asked Clifford.

“First and foremost, I want to give people relief. Inflation has been a struggle. So whether it's repealing the retirement tax or giving families a working tax credit - $3,000 a year,” said Whitmer.

Also making greater investments in education and law enforcement. And with the Oxford shooting and the mass shootings in California gun safety is a biggie.

“I was in Oxford where students were demanding changes to our gun laws, as were six other communities across the state of Michigan and they want specific things: Universal background checks, safe storage to red flag laws," she says.

"Are you going to take up gun law? Is that going to be something high on your agenda?” asked Clifford.

“I would love to accomplish all three,” said Whitmer. “Cut to extreme risk protection order that’s really important.”

“These are common sense things. They've gotten done in other states. It is time for us to show that we are serious,” said Whitmer.

LGBTQ rights, bringing manufacturing jobs home and making Michigan more competitive. She's also aware her name as a potential presidential contender if President Biden chose not to run again is high.

“How do you feel about that?” asked Clifford.

“I think it's strange,” said Whitmer. “I'm not looking to go anywhere other than Lansing, Michigan for the next four years and put our state in a strong position and hand it over to whoever succeeds me.”

While the Governor may not have higher office on her agenda, she was considered among the top picks for Vice President for Joe Biden and now she is still being talked about as a potential presidential pick. But for now, she is satisfied with her road map for Michigan and moving our state forward into the future.