LANSING — Today, as Republican James Craig is attempting to reboot his previously announced gubernatorial campaign after a months-long clunky rollout, the Michigan Democratic Party is releasing a new video to remind Michiganders that they are no closer to uncovering where he stands on the issues.
The video, titled “Detroit Dodger,” documents the lengths Craig has gone through to dodge basic questions since May, most recently locking himself in a glass conference room where reporters couldn’t hear him speak.
WATCH the new video here and read the full transcript at bottom.
The only thing the Detroit Dodger has managed to do since becoming a candidate on July 21st (see previous MDP statement here) is make frequent appearances on friendly national cable shows to discuss issues not specific to Michigan. And during the one time he made himself available to Michigan reporters eager to get past his poll-tested veneer, he dodged questions and gave vague answers. The Detroit Free Press also called Craig out for promising a listening tour for months that “apparently never materialized,” forcing his campaign to concede there was no evidence of him actually meeting with Michiganders.
If the past few months are any indication of how Craig intends to make his case to voters through the rest of this primary, Michiganders should settle in for a campaign that stays light on substance as political consultants, party insiders, and special interests work overtime to get their desired outcome with no regard to what the base wants.
Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes released the following statement:
“James Craig is desperate to make Michiganders forget what a disaster the past few months have been for him. Don’t expect him to lead from the front by addressing his main problem — his adamant refusal to answer questions directly. Despite being asked several times now, the Detroit Dodger still won’t say what he thinks about the legitimacy of our elections, who he thinks incited the violent insurrection in DC, or what he’ll do to protect the right to choose for Michigan women and families.
“Meanwhile, Governor Whitmer has been exhibiting what true leadership looks like. Rather than wait to act until after Michigan women lose access to reproductive healthcare, she called on the legislature to repeal an old law that would criminalize abortion should Roe v. Wade get overturned. And throughout the course of this pandemic, she made tough calls to keep our communities healthy while making strategic investments into initiatives that allowed Michigan to quickly get back to work — yielding the fastest growing economy in the Midwest. That’s a strong track record that doesn’t need rebooting.”
REPORTER 1: He is doing ready…aim…aim…aim…aim. He’s said again “I’m still doing an exploratory committee.” When are you going to pull the trigger?
REPORTER 2: Are you a Trump supporter though?
JAMES CRAIG: You know, I’m not going to get into politics right now.
REPORTER 3: The chief would not take any questions.
JC: I’m not going to get into that.
REPORTER 4: The chief who did not take questions.
JC: I’m not going to talk about politics today. There will be a proper time and place for that, but this is not today.
REPORTER 1: He would not answer direct questions about was the election stolen. He says, “It needs to be investigated.” And was Trump responsible for the January 6th insurrection? He didn’t answer.
JC: I’m not dodging the question.
REPORTER 1: It’s a direct question. Do you want former president Trump’s endorsement?
JC: I’m looking ahead to 2022.
REPORTER 1: But do you need those caveats to get his endorsement? That’s the rest of my question.
JC: I don’t know what I need. You asked me a direct question.
REPORTER 1: Yeah.
REPORTER 1: He gave his scripted, canned talking points on the election. He cut us off and said, “That’s it. That’s all I’m answering.”
REPORTER 5: Right here in Michigan we see the Republican party pretty much divided between the Trump supporters and not.
REPORTER 1: The voters want to hear his answers on that. The Trump supporters want to hear his answers on that.
REPORTERS 5: There’s definitely an interest in how he stands and where he stands on these issues.
JC: I’m not going to get into that and I’m not dodging it.