(CNN) – Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm says a “fringe element” is using the Tea Party to transmit views that are unacceptable in the national political debate.
“There is a fringe element …that I think uses the Tea Party as a way to push into the mainstream - what are really and have been fringe sentiments,” Granholm, a Democrat, told CNN’s Candy Crowley in an interview airing Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
Granholm added she feels much of the grass-roots movement is “mainstream,” but said it also serves to “amplif[y] a voice that would previously have been unacceptable, I think, in most [of the] mainstream.”
Granholm, a two-term governor who will leave office in January, is reported to be on President Obama’s short list for the Supreme Court.
Candy Crowley’s full interview with Granholm airs Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union at 9 a.m. ET.
Washington (CNN) - Democrats will find electoral success in November if their candidates promote the party's efforts to reform Wall Street and effectively sell health care reform to the voters, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm said in interview to air Sunday on CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley.
Democrats control the House and Senate by fairly wide margins, but Republicans are expected to make gains in the midterm elections. Granholm, a two-term governor who will leave office in January, acknowledged that the health care law was "controversial" but said that is why her fellow Democrats need to fully explain to individuals how it will help them.
"I think that people don't understand the benefits of it fully yet," she told Crowley in a wide-ranging interview. "And so there has to be an effort to try to educate citizens about that … between now and October and November."
Wall Street reform, Granholm predicted, won't be as tough a sell.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Michigan Rep. Peter Hoekstra will announce his decision on whether to run for governor next week, the Republican said on a Detroit radio show Wednesday.
Hoekstra, who has already said he would retire from Congress at the end of his term in 2010, has been mulling a run for months to succeed the term-limited Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm. He told WJR that he'll make an announcement on Monday and that he will "spend a day doing it."
Hoekstra was vague on his actual intentions, but strongly suggested that he would run. When WJR radio host Frank Beckmann said he predicted that Hoekstra would run for governor, the Republican replied, "you might find yourself to be very, very right."
Although Michigan leans Democratic and voters in the state overwhelmingly picked Obama on Election Day, Hoekstra said he's confident that a Republican could win.
"In a blue state, how do you put together a coalition that enables you to be successful on Election Day?" Hoekstra said. "I think it's very possible to do."
Granholm's popularity has taken a hit in Michigan, a state where the faltering auto industry has led to the highest unemployment rate in the country. Hoekstra said he hopes the Democratic candidates, namely Lt. Gov. John Cherry, run on the same policies as Granholm.
"I hope that John Cherry and the Democrats run on Jennifer Granholm's record," Hoekstra said. "The slogan's very simple on the other side: if nothing changes, nothing changes."
Early polling shows Hoekstra towards the top of the Republican field. L. Brooks Patterson, a local county executive, is on top with 22 percent, and Hoekstra comes in second with 15 percent, according to a recent Inside Michigan Politics poll. The poll was conducted from March 4-10 with 600 registered voters in Michigan and had a sampling error of plus or minus 5.7 percentage points.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm said she won't apologize to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for her crack at last weekend's Gridiron Dinner that the former Republican vice presidential candidate "really set back the cause of hot governors."
At the exclusive Washington dinner on Saturday, which was packed with top elected officials, Granholm also used the quip to needle Pennsylvania's governor. "You know where I'm coming from, Ed Rendell," she said.
A Michigan reporter asked Granholm if she planned to apologize to Palin, according to a Tuesday report in the Detroit News.
"No," Granholm said. "It was all in good fun."
Despite positive reviews for her comedy routine, Granholm said the she was a bit out of her element in the role.
"I'm not a stand-up. It was a bit of a stretch for me," she said.
Granholm played the role of Palin in Joe Biden's vice presidential debate prep sessions last year.
(CNN) - Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Sunday expressed confidence that the economic stimulus plan could help her state recover from the financial crisis, but she said Michigan needs the funds now.
In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Granholm cited a report by Mark Zandi, the cofounder of Moody's Economy.com, which said the stimulus plan would create more than 150,000 jobs for her state.
"Believe me, we are all about jobs. Those 140,000 jobs that were lost this past week, we see the impact of this every day, and I'm speaking not just for Michigan, but for governors across the country," the Democratic governor said. "We need help. We need it now. And it's not about budgets, it's about creating jobs in our states."
Asked her opinion on the more than $800 billion stimulus bill moving through Congress, Granholm said, "If things are in there that are not related to job creation, it should perhaps be in other bills. But this bill should be related to job creation and helping people get through this economic crisis."
She said her idea of a "good balance" is "a third toward making sure people are not being hurt, a third toward investing in job creation and a third towards tax cuts."