Over the last few weeks, thousands have protested against Snyder’s budget plans. There were a few hundred at a rally in downtown Grand Rapids last week. Outside the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel where Snyder addressed a group of business leaders Monday, just a handful of people held signs.
Inside the hotel, Snyder told the crowd he respects the protestors, and he says he expected them.
“Are they all going to get on board? No. Will some people stay upset for a very long time? Yes. But I believe the vast majority of Michiganders are already being very supportive of what we’re doing.”
Snyder encouraged what he called the ‘silent majority’ to speak up – to friends and co-workers, to the media, and to those they elected.
“This is the time to speak. Staying quiet does not help.”
The governor has taken heat for proposals to cut spending and increase state taxes on pensions.
“When you’re talking in theory, change sounds really good. Everybody likes it. When it’s time to actually have it happen it’s like ‘whoa wait a second’ and the response is different. And that’s the response we have today.”
The crowd of West Michigan business leaders gave Snyder a standing ovation at an event put on by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.
Snyder says he’s done exactly what he said he’d do on the campaign trail during his first 100 days in office. He says he won’t stop pushing for what he sees as short term sacrifices to help the state succeed over the long run.