Rick Snyder's thoughts on his first year as Michigan's governor

5:56 AM, Dec 22, 2011   |    comments
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Gov. Rick Snyder

LANSING, Mich. (WZZM) -- It has been almost 12 months since he took the oath of office on the steps of the State Capitol, enough time for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to decide he likes the job.

"It's a chance to make a difference," he says. "It's a challenging job. It's the opportunity of a lifetime to give back."

Reflecting on his first year in office, the governor says he has heard the criticism about his policies, but says he is not insulted.

"If you pick sides, I can have both sides yelling at me," he says with a laugh during an interview at his office in the Romney Building in Lansing. "I don't take it personally. I view it as part of democracy. I appreciate that people have different perspectives."

One of his most controversial moves was persuading the legislature to cut taxes for business and add taxes to the pensions of retirees. Some said it was taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

"Who got that tax cut?" responds the governor. "It was small and medium size business people, our friends and neighbors. And a number of them have added jobs. It's really about jobs and creating the environment for success."

And, although unemployment is still high, Governor Snyder sees evidence his efforts to reinvent Michigan are working.

"One of the great illustrations is Bloomberg," he says. "They came out a little while ago showing Michigan was number two in economic health in terms of 'comeback' states. That's pretty positive news and I think our policies contributed to that."

The polls show the governor's popularity has fallen sharply since he took office.  But he still has three years remaining in this term, and he expects to run for re-election in 2014.

"That's the intention," he confirms. "A ten-year plan -- two years running and eight years in office."

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