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Elizabeth Warren tells Michigan Democrats it's a 'moment of crisis' for nation

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Michigan Democrats stressed the high stakes of the November election concerning  heath care and abortion rights on Wednesday, the third night of their party's national convention. 

Before the convention's regular programming began at 9 p.m., female leaders from Michigan spoke at a virtual rally for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. The event featured a short speech from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who also sought the Democratic nomination this year.

Warren

The contrast between Biden, a former vice president, and President Donald Trump couldn't be clearer, Warren told the Michigan Democrats.

"This is a moment of crisis for our nation," the Massachusetts senator said.  "But it is the moment that we’ve been called to, a once in a lifetime shot to change America forever.

"We can’t afford to miss it."

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel hosted the virtual rally, which featured Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and female members of the state's U.S. House delegation.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, focused on Biden's plans to expand health care coverage and said, under a Biden presidency, women wouldn't have to worry about their ability to make their own reproductive choices.

Stabenow referenced former First Lady Michelle Obama, saying people should vote like their lives depend on it.

“They do depend on it,” Stabenow said. “And the lives of our kids and grand kids and everybody we love."

A Lake Orion General Motors union worker was also scheduled to get his time in the spotlight Wednesday during the national convention. Gerald Lang, who's a team leader at the assembly plant and vice president of United Auto Workers Local 5960, was scheduled to appear after 10 p.m.

On Monday, Whitmer was among the speakers. On Tuesday, state Rep. Mari Manoogian, D-Birmingham, was one of 17 Democrats who helped give the keynote address, and U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, cast the state's official nominating votes for Biden.

One of the themes of the convention has been the former vice president's work to boost auto manufacturing, which his campaign also plans to emphasize in Michigan ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

The campaign argues the former vice president's record on the subject, including his involvement in the 2009 auto bailout, gives him a strategic advantage over the incumbent president Biden also has been endorsed by the United Auto Workers.

In December 2008, President George W. Bush gave $25 billion in emergency loans to General Motors, Chrysler and their lending arms. President Barack Obama's administration lent another $55 billion before forcing GM and Chrysler through expedited bankruptcy proceedings that were intended to avoid even worse job losses at auto suppliers and other auto-related firms.

Trump's campaign argues it can use Biden's support of past trade agreements against the Democratic challenger. The president signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a replacement to the North American Free Trade Agreement, into the law in January, a move he's touted during a stop in Michigan in January.

Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes against Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

cmauger@detroitnews.com