Michigan Gov. Whitmer's handling of Benton Harbor lead pipe crisis slammed in new ad

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FIRST ON FOX: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s sluggish response to the growing lead-in-water crisis in Benton Harbor has made her the target of a new ad by the Republican Governors Association (RGA).

The RGA is releasing the new ad, which was first obtained by Fox News, in a five-figure campaign hitting the governor over the Benton Harbor crisis that has seen the Great Lake State town lose access to water.

Titled “Gretchen Whitmer knew about the water crisis in Michigan and she did nothing,” the ad features news clips of the leaded water problem, with one clip pointing out that the state government first detected the lead “three years” ago in 2018.

The ad concludes with a shot of Whitmer juxtaposed next to text saying the governor “knew” about the contaminated, poisonous water “and did nothing.”

“While residents of Benton Harbor were unknowingly drinking lead-contaminated water, Gretchen Whitmer and her administration were sitting on the sidelines for years hiding critical information from the public,” RGA spokesman Chris Gustafson said in a press release obtained by Fox News.

“Whitmer’s inaction endangered countless Michiganders, and her slow response and failure to lead during a crisis has once again shown that she is unfit for the job,” he continued.

Republicans aren’t the only ones fed up with the governor’s  response to the crisis.

Rev. Edward Pinkney, who leads the Benton Harbor Community Water Council, told Fox News in a phone interview last week that Whitmer and Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad should have responded to the crisis “three years ago.”

“The city government, they failed us, and the state government failed us. They failed the community,” Pinkney told Fox News. “For three years, they did exactly nothing. For three whole years, they did exactly nothing.”

The reverend said it took Whitmer “three years” to do something about the crisis, and Whitmer’s “damage control” only came about after his group filed a petition with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and cited the fact that an election year is approaching. 

He also said that if the group had not filed the EPA petition, it would have taken “another two or three years before someone actually responded to this.”

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