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BILL SCHUETTE ANNOUNCEMENT REMARKS
Tonight in Midland, my home town, I announced that I am running for governor of the State of Michigan! In case you could not be with us or see the Facebook Live stream, I wanted to post this copy of my remarks here for your review.
Thank you for everything you do and for your support!
BILL SCHUETTE ANNOUNCEMENT REMARKS
Delivered in Midland, MI on September 12, 2017
Hi everybody! Thank you all for coming. Simply incredible.
Here we are.
Smack dab in Mid-Michigan, my hometown of Midland. A lot of history here in Midland. And we have come a long way since I first announced my candidacy for congress years ago.
Schuette isn’t easy to pronounce. So, I went to events with an old shoe and a “T”. This was my mom’s idea, a great one. So, one more time …
I’m Bill Shoe-“T” … and we are still On Duty.
My mom and dad were high school sweethearts and moved to Midland in 1941, where my dad landed a job at Dow and made Midland our home. But tragically, my dad died of a heart attack when he was only 47 years of age and i was just a boy of 6.
My mom persevered and raised me and my two wonderful sisters, Sandra and Gretchen.
It wasn’t until I was about to graduate from college that there was a guy smart enough to marry my mom.
His name was Carl Gerstacker, a great man. The building in which we stand this evening bears his name.
I have learned big lessons from my mom, dad, Carl, and so many people in Midland, and the small towns, suburbs and cities which dot the landscape of Michigan.
Important values of faith, family, giving back and hard work.
I was a yard boy here in Midland, worked construction in the west. And I was the head potato boy at Ponderosa Steak House, where I learned to mop a floor from a grizzled Marine.
Who reinforced the ethic that if you have a job, do it right.
I also learned to be observant.
And I observed a girl at the bus stop in my neighborhood and kept watching her as we both attended the same public schools from elementary to high school.
The problem was that she was not interested in me. And this girl Cynthia went on to have an exceptional career in television broadcasting.
Fortunately, I won her over and we now have celebrated 26 years of marriage.
Cynthia and I meet every challenge together, including the creation of the Michigan Harvest Gathering…our way to help stock the shelves of Michigan’s food banks.
We have raised over $10 million…and collected more than 10 million pounds of food to feed hungry families across Michigan.
I am so proud of my wife…and so grateful for her love, patience, understanding, prayers and wisdom. Thank you Cynthia. I love you very much.
Daughter Heidi and son Bill. Talented, thoughtful and smart. Your Mother and I are so proud of you and admire your decision making and character. We love you both very much.
Lisa Gerstacker is here tonight. I am fortunate, she and I are indeed fortunate, to have shared memories of your dad, Carl, and to be part of our blended family.
Cynthia’s brother and sisters are here, my father in law, Carl Grebe, is here tonight. Carl Grebe is a 98- year-old, World War Two, P-38 fighter pilot. Part of America’s greatest generation. A terrific guy.
Would all of America’s freedom fighters please stand and let’s honor our veterans with applause and gratitude.
So, here we are.
Midland, where I learned the attitude, the attitude of what it means to be Michigan: tough, resilient, optimistic and always working.
We have come a long way from the perilous lost decade under Jennifer Granholm. We lost people, we lost paychecks, we lost jobs.
Worse yet, there was a casual, grudging acceptance of Michigan’s steady decline…that our best days were behind us…that life was better for those who left.
We know this for sure.
The only thing that got blown away during Jennifer Granholm’s governorship were the hopes and dreams and aspirations of Michigan families.
After eight years of Granholm and eight years of Obama, it’s amazing we’re still standing. But we’re Michigan, and nobody—nobody — is tougher, stronger or more determined.
And that is why it’s so important for us to stand up now. Because Jennifer Granholm’s lieutenants want to take back control of our state in 2018.
That’s right. The same Granholm team, the same failed liberal policies of higher taxes, lower incomes and fewer jobs.
The Granholm team wants to take us back…back to the lost decade. You might even call it the Lost Decade, Part 2.
And this is one sequel nobody wants to experience.
For Michigan to reach higher, we need a governor who won’t accept the fate assigned to us by liberal elites who look down on manufacturing and the plumbers, electricians and builders – and head potato boys – the skilled trades that built our country and are needed to rebuild our infrastructure.
The democrat elites’ answer to lost jobs and lost income is more government and more dependency. Basically, to give up.
To stop competing and start complaining.
Instead, Michigan needs leaders who are laser focused on jobs. More jobs, more paychecks, more people.
In the last seven years, we have gotten off the mat and rebounded. But we have only begun to fulfill our potential.
Look, we are Michigan. We are the state that put the world on wheels. We built the weapons that preserved freedom and we created America’s middle class.
When we get knocked down, we get back up. Because it’s not in our DNA to stay down.
I am here to serve notice to the world: we are Michigan, we are going to start winning again and that is why I am announcing my candidacy for Governor of Michigan!
I am running for governor because it is time for Michigan to lead the world again.
To usher in a new era of jobs, opportunity and prosperity…
From Detroit to Grand Rapids …
… from Marquette to Monroe.
I don’t believe our best days are behind us, but directly ahead of us…
I will be a governor who doesn’t ask families to make due with less, while Lansing does less with more.
I will be the governor – the jobs governor – who cuts taxes and gives Michigan families a pay raise.
Our politics should be about ideas, not identities. About policies, not personalities.
Our focus must be on uniting, not dividing. Of growing our population, not sending families packing to other states. Our families want to live here, not leave here.
From our factories and farms to our cities and towns, in a real sense, Michigan is America. Michigan is a diverse and accepting place. We welcome all and include all…
… regardless of the sound of your name, the origin of your birth, or the faith you practice.
So to all of you who call these two peninsulas home — I am proud to call you neighbor.
Michigan will reach new heights only when our leaders possess big dreams, have big aspirations and achieve big results.
And how do we judge a leader’s ability to achieve big results?
Well, the test of leadership is not what you say, but what you do.
As your Attorney General, I have a record of accomplishment. My actions match my words.
When Obamacare was forced on Michigan and America, I did not sit back and accept it or worse yet, help implement it.
I fought for people who are getting hammered by rising health care costs…people like our friend Tara, who cuts my hair.
Tara is one of a few people who have cut my thinning locks for decades.
She does a great job (given what she has to work with…) But because of Obamacare, her family’s budget has had to take a severe haircut.
Tara and her husband James couldn’t afford the more than $10,000 a year they were spending on Obamacare…so they elected to just drop coverage and pay the Obamacare fine.
When I am elected governor, I will hold the Washington politicians to their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.
And there’s more.
I sued the Obama administration and his attempt to end run the congress on energy regulations. And Michigan won.
I defended Michigan’s Constitution, which requires equal treatment for admission to our outstanding colleges and universities. And Michigan students won.
I delivered the funding to test abandoned sexual assault evidence kits and start prosecuting rapists who had gone free.
And now women brutalized by this horrific crime are receiving the justice they deserve.
And I worked to change the culture in Michigan to combat human trafficking. Decency and human dignity prevailed, because now young women who are forced to have sex are treated as victims, not criminals.
I have a record of accomplishment.
Michigan has rebounded from the lost decade thanks to our republican team, thanks to Governor Snyder and our republican leadership team.
Things are better.
But listen to Michigan families. It is not easy to pay the bills or get ahead.
We have to reach higher. Michigan families have to start winning again.
From my first day in congress, to my second term as attorney general, I have been a steadfast conservative.
I have one great motivation: to make Michigan a growth state, a paycheck state, a jobs state.
We need to cop a new attitude about Michigan, that we won’t settle for less when we can do better.
A great way to start is to give Michigan families a pay raise.
First, I will cut your taxes. The Granholm income tax increase was supposed to be rolled back.
I believe you should keep more of what you earn, and the government should take less of what you make.
So, we will drive a stake through the heart of the legacy of the lost decade and end the Granholm tax increase — once and for all.
Second, Michigan families are losing their hard-earned money because of Lansing’s failure.
Today, we are paying the highest auto insurance rates in America. A thousand dollars more than the national average. Enough is enough.
I will crack down on insurance fraud and fight frivolous lawsuits.
I will give people in Michigan a pay raise and pass real auto insurance reform.
I know that Michigan can lead again. I know that Michigan can win again.
We are now competing with Silicon Valley and carmakers around the globe for the future of the auto industry.
We won’t back down.
We will win.
The auto industry is our birthright, and we will fight to ensure the next generation of cars…built with the best technology…are built by the best workers, right here in Michigan.
We know the greatest economic development program in the Michigan of the 21st century is a quality education.
We also know that teachers are valued and shape young minds. Let’s work together for success.
The status quo is failing too many children.
Michigan’s reading scores are some of the lowest in the nation.
We can do better.
We must nurture a love of learning with the goal for every Michigan student to be able to read by the third grade.
Ronald Reagan once described America as a shining city on a hill. But if you can’t read the directions, you can’t get there. And if you can’t spell opportunity, then the future is dim and gloomy.
Too many children are trapped in failing schools. They either can’t access special programs, or their families can’t afford the transportation costs to attend a different school.
Michigan needs to provide transportation scholarships for children to learn.
When we give parents a choice, we give children a chance.
I will make sure the funding we send to our schools is properly spent…as I did when I terminated the taxpayer-funded pensions of 13 corrupt Detroit principals who stole millions from school children.
And as governor, i will fight president Obama’s federalization of our local classrooms and end common core.
We will also place new emphasis on apprenticeships and vocational education, preparing students for a skilled trade, providing another pathway to progress in Michigan’s 21st century.
So, whether they choose to be college ready, or work-force ready, our high school graduates must be ready.
Michigan is a magnificent portrait, a beautiful mosaic of people and ideas. Our state was carved out of the wilderness. Part of the underground railroad.
The arsenal of democracy.
The auto capital of the world.
Outstanding educational institutions. Agriculture, chemistry and furniture.
Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons. Manufacturing and Motown. Seger, Kid Rock, and The Nuge.
The list goes on and on.
For generations, leaders of Michigan met the challenges of their times, inspiring awe and wonder at what could be possible if we only tried, were determined and worked hard. A can-do attitude.
We had the belief we could be whatever we wanted to be. Because no one told us differently.
Yet, as we stand here today, can we say the same for future generations of Michiganians?
I have had enough of small thinking, tiny steps and politicians who set their sights lower, boasting of success preparing to carve up a shrinking pie.
I reject the notion that Michigan’s best days are behind us.
I reject the casual resignation and the grudging acceptance that the paychecks and jobs will go elsewhere and Michigan will have fewer and fewer people, becoming a smaller and smaller, less significant state.
My one goal, my singular ambition: is to make Michigan a growth state, a paycheck state, a jobs state. To achieve this, we must have a jobs governor.
And, I want each and everyone here this evening-and every citizen of Michigan, to cop an attitude, cop a new attitude about our future.
The Michigan I know must be about big hopes, bold dreams and boundless aspirations.
We must have the attitude that there is nothing we cannot achieve together if we work hard to make Michigan a place where people plant their flag, raise their family and build their future because Michigan has more jobs and more opportunity than any other state in America.
I’m Bill Schuette.
We need to cop a new attitude and reach higher.
It’s time to win again.