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Democrats to use Trump’s State of the Union to focus on healthcare, working-class voters


Democrats are focusing on making health care more affordable and other pocket-book issues, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Tuesday as she used her party’s response to U.S. President Donald Trump‘s State of the Union address to appeal to working-class voters.

“It’s pretty simple. Democrats are trying to make your health care better. Republicans in Washington are trying to take it away,” said Whitmer, whose state Trump captured narrowly in 2016 by appealing to lower-earning workers.

“It doesn’t matter what the president says about the stock market,” she said in excerpts from her speech provided beforehand by Democrats. “What matters is that millions of people struggle to get by or don’t have enough money at the end of the month after paying for transportation, student loans, or prescription drugs.”

Michigan hadn’t voted for the GOP presidential candidate since 1988. Trump used narrow victories there and in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to unexpectedly win the 2016 election, and Democrats are determined to shore up their support in the Midwest.

“American workers are hurting,” Whitmer said, listing those states. “All over the country. Wages have stagnated, while CEO pay has skyrocketed.”

Democrats’ selection of Whitmer, 48, underscored their desire to bolster their appeal in those regions while reaching out to women. Recent polling and elections have shown that Trump is particularly unpopular with women, and their votes will be crucial if the party is to perform strongly in moderate suburban areas.

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