GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Bill Schuette and Gretchen Whitmer faced off in the first of two televised gubernatorial debates.
The pair played political tennis for about an hour, each lobbying criticisms and zingers. Neither cracked under pressure, which is not surprising for two candidates who have spent years in politics.
The first question out of the gate was about a video of Bill Schuette purportedly from 1989. In the video, Schuette, a Michigan congressman at the time, was speaking to a woman before an interview.
The video shows Schuette being asked to move closer to a lamp. He responds by saying, "I will do anything you want. Some things I may not let you run the camera on."
During the debate Schuette commented on that video.
"This is a Planned Parenthood hit job on me. Some drastically edited video from 30 years ago where I was trying to be funny. I'm obviously embarrassed about it, but you know what, the most interesting video would be the one I saw recently about Garlin Gilchrist and his dilapidated rental property," Schuette said.
Schuette was referencing reports of Whitmer's lieutenant governor pick and his Detroit property's alleged slum-like condition.
The pair continued to criticize the other's job performance over everything from reforming auto insurance to immigration.
“I know Bill Schuette is desperately trying to fix his place in the polls by throwing all of this nonsense out there,” Whitmer said.
Both see opportunities for tax reform, but in different areas. Schuette is against recreational marijuana, while Whitmer is supportive of it.
The two meet for their second and final debate on Oct. 24 at WDIV.
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