Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder offers a perspective "on what ails the national political culture" that other politicians considering White House runs could benefit from, according to The Washington Post.
Snyder said he has never gone out of his way to identify himself as a conservative or a Republican when meeting voters.
Politicians who do that are "sort of creating a chasm with other people," said Snyder, who was re-elected in November by a 51-47 percent margin over his Democratic challenger.
On the other hand, the governor is happy to spotlight the jobs created in Michigan and the drop in unemployment during his tenure. It fell from a peak of 14.9 percent in June 2009 and 10.9 percent when he took office in 2011 to 5.9 percent today.
Snyder has taken numerous positions
that put him at odds with conservative and libertarian-leaning voters. For example, he refused to sign Grover Norquist's no-tax-increase pledge. He has vetoed voter ID legislation requiring that voters provide proof of citizenship to obtain an absentee ballot and NRA-backed legislation to allow someone named in a restraining order to obtain a concealed pistol license.
Snyder also expanded Medicaid under the Obamacare law, signed bipartisan legislation to increase the minimum wage, and is backing a May ballot initiative that would increase the state sales tax from 6 cents to 7 cents and provide additional money for education.
On the other hand, the governor has also taken positions that have infuriated the left, which have included signing into law legislation making Michigan, long a bastion of organized labor, a right-to-work state and cutting business taxes.
Snyder also oversaw the city of Detroit's emergence from bankruptcy.
In doing so, he incurred the wrath of many liberals for installing a series of emergency managers over Detroit Public Schools in place of the elected school board.
Snyder's Twitter name is "onetoughnerd,"
taken from the ads he ran during his successful 2010 primary campaign.
The governor expressed disappointment with the practice of politics in Washington, D.C., telling the Post that standards for acceptable behavior there are much lower than those in the business world and family relationships.
"We're a great country, but can you maintain status as a great country if you spend the majority of your time fighting and blaming one another?" he said. "That's not a sustainable long-term answer."
In conversation, Snyder sounds like a believer in activist government but says that the current model of government administration in the United States —
which he dates to the Great Depression and New Deal —
"is old and getting tired."
Government "started getting involved in people’s lives, and it was needed," he said. But today, 80 years later, “all we are is a massive accumulation of prescriptive programs largely led by the federal government. That’s not a model that works well anymore . . . We're not treating people as people, the way they deserve."
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