Michigan’s Democrat gubernatorial primary is getting ugly fast as liberal multimillionaire Shri Thanedar, the frontrunner for the party’s nomination in recent polls, escalates his criticism of his two opponents for the nomination, Gretchen Whitmer and Abdul El-Sayed. In a new interview with The Intercept, Thanedar took the opportunity to “trash” his Democrat rivals, indicating he plans to step up his attacks on the two of them.
Thanedar blasted Whitmer’s unimpressive record in the state legislature, claiming that “with 14 years in the public domain, [she] hasn’t had anything to show as her accomplishments” and called El-Sayed “just a rich kid who never had to suffer.” With less than three months to go until the Democrat primary, Thanedar’s rhetoric signals a bitter and increasingly negative contest to come for the party’s nomination.
During the course of our phone conversation, Thanedar used the interview to trash El-Sayed and Whitmer….
Thanedar also got very personal in his description of El-Sayed’s background.
‘He gets a lot of glowing coverage in Intercept,’ he said. ‘But all it is is just a rich kid who never had to suffer. Got his way. And when he doesn’t get his way, he gets mad and he starts child-like acting like when he was caught with the residency issue, he tried to hit back. Because you know he has got a life of privilege. He probably has no college debt. He grew up in Bloomfield — I went to his high school, it’s like five star, five star hotel. … So he grew up with privilege.’
‘Look, who has my level of lifetime experiences? Certainly not a kid who is 33 years old, has three jobs in two years. He doesn’t have the skill set to manage a $56 billion state with huge amount of problems,’ he said. ‘I don’t really see a huge amount of qualifications Abdul has to be progressive. He grew up in Bloomfield, which is one of the richest areas. He grew up in a very wealth household. He either got scholarships, or he got paid for his tuition by his parents, rich parents. He voted only half the time in the last 10 years. He misrepresented himself, basically he’s skillful and he’s memorized a very progressive speech, and he delivers it well because he’s got good oratory skills.’
We followed up by pointing to ex-Sanders presidential campaign staff that El-Sayed has hired to prove his progressive credentials. ‘But they have done nothing. Have you ever seen them talk or do anything? Nothing,’ he said.
Adam Joseph, a spokesperson for El-Sayed, offered a response to Thanedar’s comments to The Intercept. ‘While he continues to add to the list of lies about his so-called progressive record, we are focused on protecting people from corporations and millionaires like him who continue to exploit us,’ he said.
Thanedar also didn’t mince his words about Whitmer.
‘And certainly Whitmer, with 14 years in the public domain, hasn’t had anything to show as her accomplishments. She calls her No. 1 accomplishment Medicaid expansion, which was done by Snyder and he championed it,’ he said.