LANSING, Mich. — Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow said Monday that Michigan voters are "sick and tired" of partisan attacks and know that she works in a bipartisan way, two days after President Donald Trump criticized her opposition to tax cuts and accused her of standing in the way of protecting U.S. borders.
Stabenow, who is running for a fourth term, drew attention from Trump during his campaign-style rally Saturday in Macomb County, where he said: "You people just keep putting her back again and again and again. It's your fault."
"People are really sick and tired of all of the attacks and partisanship. Every decision I make is for the people of Michigan," Stabenow told reporters after holding a round-table event with veterans in Lansing.
She said Trump "said a lot of things that weren't factual as it related to me, but that's OK. People in Michigan know me and they know that I work across the aisle all the time to get things done. I'm not going to engage in the kind of name-calling that is too often the case."
She declined to say how Trump was untruthful, adding "I really don't want to get into the situation with President Trump."
Stabenow is among 10 Senate Democrats seeking re-election in states where Trump won. The two Republican candidates vying to face her in the November election, businessmen John James and Sandy Pensler, attended Trump's rally. He has not endorsed in the August primary.
James, who flew helicopters in the Iraq war, said Monday he will "never forget" saluting Trump as the president left the stage and Trump responding with a presidential salute. Pensler last week aired TV, radio and digital ads welcoming Trump to the state.
Stabenow said Trump should have spoken more about "what we care about in Michigan rather than just politics." She wished Trump would have used his visit to tout Macomb County's robust defense industry and its importance in producing military equipment for "our men and women serving every day." She also said Trump should have "looked outside the window and looked a little bit at our water and decided he was going to stop trying to defund everything for the Great Lakes."
In his speech, Trump did mention wanting to "fix" the Soo Locks, which allow for commercial trips to traverse the Great Lakes. He said they are "going to hell," and he vowed to call the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers — which operates the locks.
Democratic and GOP members of Michigan's congressional delegation and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder have called for long-sought funding to build a second large lock at Sault St. Marie, warning that a prolonged shutdown of an existing lock would cripple the U.S. economy. Congress in 1986 authorized construction of a new lock on the site of two smaller unused locks. But funding, which could approach $1 billion, has never come through.
The Army Corps has been doing a new cost-benefit study after delegation members faulted a past one for erroneously assuming that iron ore could be transported instead by rail in the event of a lock shutdown.
"I think it'd be terrific if the president wanted to join us," Stabenow said. "It's been a very slow process with the Army Corps of Engineers. If he wanted to pick up the phone and encourage them to move more quickly, we would love it. This is a strong bipartisan objective for us in Michigan. It's long overdue."