Michigan lawmakers react to 1st presidential debate

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Frustration about the presidential debate came from both sides of the political aisle Wednesday.

Some Michigan lawmakers and candidates made their positions known following Tuesday night’s debate. Many weren’t impressed with how it unfolded on stage.

U.S. Representative Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, expressed his disdain for both sides.

“I thought there might be a shortage of sand at Home Depot after the sandbox fight last night. Good grief,” he said in a written statement. “Folks across the board wanted a discussion on the issues – not the food fight that bloodied both sides.”

State Rep. Jon Hoadley is running for Upton’s seat and took special concern for the now-infamous “stand back, stand by” remark.

“When given the opportunity to powerfully denounce white supremacy, President Trump was silent. In fact, he said that he was encouraging the Proud Boys to stand down and stand by and that is not — that’s the opposite of what we should be doing right now.

U.S. Senator Gary Peters’ representatives did not respond to News 8’s requests for comment, but he posted a statement on Twitter:

“White supremacy has no place in America,” the tweet stated. “We’re better than this. We deserve a president who will take us forward, not back.”

The Republican businessman seeking Gary Peters’ seat, John James, responded to a News 8 inquiry about the presidential debate by attacking Peters.

“Just as Biden did last night, Sen. Peters has blown off questions about whether he supports Chuck Schumer’s court packing proposal. In an interview with WZZM, Peters refused to answer a direct question, though he has been clear that he believes the future of the Supreme Court is on the line in Nov. While he has been more than happy to detail what he believes Republicans’ plans for the Supreme Court to be, he has refused to detail his own,” a statement shared by a James’ campaign spokesperson read.

Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, released this statement about Trump’s remarks on white supremacy:

“Racism in all forms, including white supremacy, should be denounced,” the statement read.  “I continue to denounce it and I am glad to see the President clarify his position and reaffirm his denouncing of racism.”

Lawmakers are determining how to respond in an election cycle that heated up even further after the first presidential debate.