Michigan: governor candidates Gretchen Whitmer and Tudor Dixon debate abortion and education

Republican candidate Tudor Dixon fears new Michigan proposition "would be the most radical abortion law in the entire country" and supports an "Office of Safe Schools."

Last Tuesday featured midterm debates across the United States. With only two weeks to go until the election, the states of Pennsylvania, New York, Colorado and Michigan held debates between candidates for various seats. In Michigan, the participants were gubernatorial nominees Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her Republican challenger Tudor Dixon. It was their second televised debate and touched on issues such as abortion, inflation, energy prices and education.

During the meeting, Proposition 3, a measure that would guarantee legal access to abortion, was key. The law is currently blocked by the state courts, which has generated conflicting opinions across the state.

As with abortion issues in most of the country, Michigan Democrats are in favor of approving this measure, while Republicans are against it. Whitmer, a Democrat herself, criticized Dixon for supporting an abortion ban: "The right to have reproductive choice is important for women of all ages, from all walks of life."

This argument did not convince the Republican, who assured that, if Prop 3 were approved, "it would be the most radical abortion law in the country. The only place that has something similar is China and North Korea." Dixon further argued that the measure "remove[s] parental consent. It also makes it so you don’t have to be a doctor to perform an abortion," she concluded.


The second half of the debate focused primarily on the economic problems facing the state of Michigan. As Breitbart points out, Dixon blasted Whitmer for vetoing certain bills that would help many of Michigan residents. Proposals put forward by Republicans such as a child tax credit, income tax cuts and aid to retirees. Whitmer called these Republican bills "gimmicks" and defended herself when Dixon claimed she "has not done anything to help."

According to Whitmer, these measures were fiscally irresponsible and unfeasible: "I don’t have time for games, and I don’t think you do either," declared the Democrat. After this, she refused to take further responsibility for inflation. She claimed she was unable to affect the rise in prices as it is a global issue.

Dixon, however, was persistent and made it clear that "this governor has not done anything to help inflation, but I would put money back in your pockets."


School shootings were also part of the debate. School safety is something that both Whitmer and Dixon want to address, but they do not agree on how it should be done.

Dixon believes the solution is to have an "Office of Safe Schools," much like there is in Florida. This would serve as a center for training and resources for schools across the state.

In the governor's eyes, however, this does not guarantee anything. Whitmer brought up the recent massacre at Saint Louis High School, "there was a school shooting in Missouri yesterday, in a district that had exactly what she just described. And people are dead."

Education itself was also a hotly contested topic. One of the moderators, Chuck Stokes of WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), came in as well, openly criticizing Whitmer for not fixing Michigan's education problems.

The governor tried to defend herself, using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse: "We've also had some historic challenges over the last four years. Kids were out for three months." This amount of time seemed excessive to many Americans, but for Whitmer it was just right: "As a mom, all I was thinking about was saving the lives of our kids."

That three-month period, Dixon said, does not reflect the reality for many students. She recalled that many students had not even returned to the classroom this year. All of this, she said, explains the poor national test results released this week. The scores demonstrate that Michigan is an "inferior state" with respect to education, and that "we are really doing horribly in reading and math."