Whitmer says she doesn’t like seeing her name mentioned as possible Biden replacement

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Whitmer says she doesn’t like seeing her name mentioned as possible Biden replacement

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said in a new interview that she doesn’t like seeing her name mentioned as a possible replacement for President Biden if he leaves the presidential campaign.

“It’s a distraction more than anything,” she told The Associated Press. “I don’t like seeing my name in articles like that because I’m totally focused on governing and campaigning for the ticket.”

The governor has been a top name floated to replace Biden on the Democratic ticket should he end his reelection campaign. A rising number of critics has asked to step down, amid concerns over his age and electoral viability following a poor debate performance last month.

Whitmer in the interview acknowledged criticism over Biden’s debate performance, but stood by the president.

“I think everyone has acknowledged it was not his finest 90 minutes,” she said. “That said, this is a man I’ve known for a long time and has decades of public service receipts that he’s delivered to people.”

Five Democrats in the House have publicly called on Biden to leave the campaign, and four more senior members said so on a leadership call on Sunday. The president has rejected the calls, committing to staying in the race and proving his ability to voters.

Whitmer kept the door open to a future run for higher office, telling the news service that a recent report that she said Michigan was out of reach for Biden was spread by a “potential future opponent’s staff person” and again denied the reported comments.

“Anyone who claims I would say that we can’t win Michigan is full of s‑‑‑,” she wrote on social media last week.

The presidential race remains neck-and-neck. Former President Trump has a 1.3 percentage point lead over the president in The Hill/Decision Desk HQ average of national polls. In Michigan, Biden has a 0.8 percentage point lead on average.