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Attorney General Schuette talks Trump endorsement, Line 5, and gerrymandering case

Bill Schuette at Trump rally
Bill Schuette
Bill Schuette has been endorsed by President Trump as the Republican candidate for Michigan's gubernatorial election.

As the August 7 primary election approaches, Stateside is checking back in with the state’s gubernatorial candidates. Bill Schuetteis Michigan's current attorney general and a Republican candidate for governor, joined Lester Graham to discuss his record on environmental protection, his opposition to an anti-gerrymandering case before the Michigan Supreme Court, and his endorsement from President Trump.  

Listen to the full interview above, or read highlights below.

On his opposition to the Voters Not Politicians ballot initiative.

“Voters do have their say on elections and state reps, state Senate, members of Congress, and governor, what have you. Voters do have their say. What Michigan has done in terms of redistricting is follow strict standards that have been vetted and approved by the courts over the span of time. This issue is about the constitutionality of how you amend Michigan’s constitution, and the fact is, this is a wholesale approach. It’s almost a massive rewriting of Michigan’s constitution that can only be, according to Michigan’s constitution, by a convention.”

On Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, and whether or not the attorney general has the authority to shut it down.

“Well this is the real issue about Line 5, and I was the first person to raise this issue with respect to how we solve this problem. I’m a problem solver, and I laid out a plan, and it concerns, number one, well let’s build a tunnel in alternative to the 4.5 mile Straits of Mackinac where there are some pipelines now.

This is about stewardship. We all have responsibilities of stewardship and environmental sensitivity to the Great Lakes. And so I said, number one, we ought to have an alternative path because, because Line 5’s days are numbered. Secondly, we need to make sure there’s propane availability in the U.P., those are Michigan citizens—and in Northern Michigan—with huge reliance on propane. Third, our energy industry needs to make sure they get their products to market. Fourth, legislatively—and this is a detailed plan that I laid out—legislatively, we need to ban heavy tar sands and heavy crudes from going through Line 5 now. Right now, it’s prohibited by administrative order, but I think it should be done legislatively. And then, finally, and five, we need to put together a pipeline authority, similar to the Mackinac Bridge Authority, to work [these] other issues out in the days ahead.”

On possible criminal actions in his office, which a county prosecutor has referred to the FBI

“These are allegations [that] are just full of falsehoods, and this is, again, a Democrat hit job trying to take me down because they know I’m the strongest candidate to win in November…Frankly, this is just a smear campaign against me, and it’s because they don’t want to have a discussion on issues.”

On the value of President Trump’s endorsement after the Helsinki summit

“I appreciate the endorsement of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and half of the Michigan legislature…The fact is: Russia has been and always will be our biggest adversary in terms of global affairs, and our national offensive capability always has to be strength is a key. And I appreciate, I appreciate President Trump’s focus on the domestic issues of cutting taxes, and as a result the Ram truck is being moved from Mexico to Michigan, to Warren, that’s 2,500 more jobs. And so I appreciate President Trump’s efforts to cut taxes, rebalance trading relationships, and make sure that, you know, forgotten Americans that never were able to participate in the global economy, where we lost manufacturing jobs, now there’s a measure of hope.”

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