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Top Republican candidates for governor fight over who supports Pres. Trump more

Apr 29, 2018

Pres. Donald Trump called Attorney General Bill Schuette "the next governor of Michigan" during a speech Saturday at Total Spots Park in Washington Twp, in northern Macomb County
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

President Trump’s Saturday night speech in northern Macomb County became the latest skirmish in Michigan’s Republican race for governor.

During his speech, President Trump made it clear who he supports in Michigan’s governor’s race.

“We’re honored to be joined by a great friend of mine and a great Attorney general, the next governor of Michigan, Bill Schuette,” Trump told the cheering crowd packed into the Total Sports Park indoor soccer field.

Last  year, the president tweeted his endorsement of Schuette for the Republican nomination for governor.   

Bill Schuette (file photo)
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Attorney General Bill Schuette delivered a campaign-style speech before the president.  

Schuette's rival for the Republican nomination, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, wasn’t at the rally. 

But the campaign tried to use the event to undermine Schuette’s ties to Trump.

In a press release decrying Schuette’s “deplorable anti-Trump history," the Calley campaign highlighted Schuette's past financial support of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCain, and former president George W. Bush.

Brian Calley (file photo)
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Calley campaign included a quote from Schuette from early in 2016, when he said he would support the Republican nominee: “But I’ve been one of the first to say the disparaging comments about Hispanics and Mexicans are deplorable to me.”

The comment came after candidate Trump referred to some undocumented Mexicans living in the U.S. as “rapists.”

Schuette noted Calley has his own issues when it comes to the president’s off-the-cuff statements.

Calley separated himself from the president when the infamous Access Hollywood tape emerged, on which the president is heard making numerous crude comments about women.

In light of that, Schuette calls Calley’s shot at him “humorous.”

“The fact is I’m here. He’s not,” Schuette told reporters before President Trump’s rally Saturday night in northern Macomb County, “The fact is I supported the president. He [Calley] cut and run and deserted. The president knows who was with him  and who wasn’t.”

Schuette, Calley, and state Sen. Patrick Colbeck face off in August’s primary to decide who will win the Republican nomination in November’s general election.