It’ll be Democrat, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero versus Republican, Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder in November’s race for Governor of Michigan. Wednesday morning, the post-primary campaign had already begun.
Speaking live on WWJ Newsradio 950, both candidates touted their ability to create jobs as the primary reason they’re best suited to be Michigan’s next governor.
“I’m the proven job creator in this race — ran a Fortune 500 company,” Snyder said. “I’ve been creating small businesses in Michigan, so I know what it takes to create a job. And, I’ve been doing great economic development work across the state,” he said.
Snyder said it’s also a matter of building a better atmosphere of cooperation in Lansing.
“I’m just ready to go to work. We need to work for a few more months to win the general [election], and I’m really excited about going to Lansing in January. That’s when the hard work will really start,” Snyder said.
“We really need to reinvent our state. And, we’re looking for people who believe that there’s a better way of doing things — that’s much more positive; that gets away from sound bites and bickering,” he said.
Despite what even he acknowledges as Snyder’s “nice guy” image, Bernero said’ his opponent’s business practices have actually hurt Michigan residents, through the downsizing and outsourcing of jobs.
“He talks about changing the culture. His was a traditional corporate culture that sent our jobs overseas, thousands of them,” Bernero said.
“There’s not question that Rick Snyder seems like a nice guy. He comes across that way. But, what he’s done to the American worker is not nice. And, the American worker is tired of being used as a punching bag and being thrown under the bus. And, that’s not going to happen in my administration. We’re going to put working people back to work and invest in domestic manufacturing,” he said.
Greg McNeilly, a GOP Strategist, said Snyder is the outsider with fresh ideas. “The difference between the two candidates couldn’t be more stark,” said McNeilly.
“It’s a little tough between the two candidates,” McNeilly said. “Rick Snyder is someone of substance who wants to discuss ideas and issues, and Virg Bernero is just a shoot-from-the-hip, glib, talking point, bumper-sticker statement guy,” he said.
“You have on one hand, Rick Snyder, who has spent a career on creating jobs and helping communities, versus a political hack in Virg Bernero, who has been mayor, a county commissioner, state senator, state representative, a state political staffer… He’s a real insider hack,” McNeilly said.
Todd Cook with Main Street Strategies, said Bernero could start turning up the heat on Snyder.
“He’s been somewhat treated with kid gloves, here’s a guy [Snyder] who has questionable business practices, whether it’s sending jobs – tens of thousands of jobs – overseas or being rebuked for questionable Enron-like accounting practices,” said Cook
Cook said number one, for Bernero, is to stay true to core values of fighting for Main Street over Wall Street and fighting for the middle class ” at a time where everyone else seems to be getting a chunk out of their retirement or paycheck to pay for themselves, but expect the working man to do less and less,” he said.
The strategists said both candidates will have to campaign heavily throughout the state since they still remain “unknown” to many voters.
Twice as many voters participated in the Republican primary than the Democratic primary, and some suggest that indicates a stronger base for Snyder.
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