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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer insists Biden can win her state and says she’s behind him 100%

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday insisted that President Joe Biden can still win her state, a key battleground in the 2024 election, even as many national Democrats question whether Biden should move forward after his shaky debate performance.

Whitmer’s statement comes as many in her party question whether she could step in for Biden and run against Republican Donald Trump this fall. Whitmer and several other top national Democrats have publicly backed Biden since Thursday’s debate.

“I am proud to support Joe Biden as our nominee and I am behind him 100 percent in the fight to defeat Donald Trump,” she said in her statement. “Not only do I believe Joe can win Michigan, I know he can because he’s got the receipts: he’s lowered health care costs, brought back manufacturing jobs, and is committed to restoring the reproductive freedom women lost under Donald Trump.”

The statement comes after Politico Magazine reported on Monday that Whitmer called Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon on Friday. It cites “someone close to a potential 2028 Whitmer rival for the Democratic presidential nomination” who said Michigan’s governor “had phoned O’Malley Dillon with more of an unambiguous SOS: to relay that Michigan, in the wake of the debate, was no longer winnable for Biden.”

An aide to Whitmer, Helen Hare, said that the reported comment was false.

Joey Cappelletti, The Associated Press