GOP Michigan gubernatorial candidate says he regrets comments made to woman in 1989 interview clip

Home / GOP Michigan gubernatorial candidate says he regrets comments made to woman in 1989 interview clip

Michigan attorney general and GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette on Thursday said that he regrets his “poor attempt” at humor that has surfaced in a clip from a 1989 television interview shows him appearing to try to flirt with the woman setting up the shot. 

The clip was resurfaced by a pro-Democratic opposition research group American Bridge, CNN reported.

It appears to show Schuette, then a 35-year-old congressman, appearing to flirt with a woman off-screen as she prepares to produce a television interview.


The woman, who is not seen in the clip, asks Schuette to “please move closer” to the lamp on his right. 

“I would be happy to move closer to the lamp,” he said while adjusting his tie.

“I will do anything you want. Some things I may not let you run the camera on, but I will certainly happily — ” he continues. 

The woman says something about trying to make sure Schuette looks “as good as possible.”

“It’s no easy task. I admire your tenacity,” he said. “I appreciate your spirit of Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt and Toulouse-Lautrec.”

Schuette’s campaign in a statement obtained by CNN said it was a “poor attempt” at humor and added they don’t know where the clip came from and he doesn’t “recall the apparent interview.”

“That apparently was my poor attempt to be humorous 30 years ago,” he said. “The video, which appears to be edited with only one short portion shown, has been in the public domain for some time.”

“It’s fortunate for me that (his wife) Cynthia came into my life and let me know that I am not a very funny guy, but this is no less embarrassing to me today and I regret it,” he continued. 

Schuette, who has been the state’s attorney general for nearly eight years, is running against Democrat Gretchen Whitmer to succeed GOP Gov. Rick Snyder.

A poll released from EPIC-MRA late last month show Whitmer with an 8-point lead.

The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Whitmer with a 9.2-point lead.

Whitmer, the former Michigan State Senate Minority Leader, said in a statement that everyone who watched the video must have had the “same uncomfortable look on our faces.”

“But even more troubling is the fact that Schuette has spent the past 33 years in office attacking the rights of women and working to take away our access to contraception and health care,” she added.

The Hill has reached out the Schuette for comment.

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