MACKINAC ISLAND — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was elected in 2010 by running as an outsider to the Republican establishment.

Judging by the treatment he got Friday, taking questions from several hundred party activists at the GOP’s biennial leadership conference, he still is.

Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, on a panel with other top Republican elected officials, were peppered with questions challenging Snyder’s position on the proposed second Detroit-Windsor bridge, his call for doctors to report the body mass index of children and his opposition to right-to-work legislation.

The audience seemed especially skeptical of the governor’s opposition to legislation that would prohibit labor agreements that require employees to join a union or pay a fee for union representation in lieu of dues.

Snyder said of right-to-work, “there are higher priorities.”

His answer was greeted by silence.

Moments later, House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, steered the discussion back to right-to-work and indicated he considered it a significant job-climate issue and got robust applause.

Earlier in the session, Snyder fielded a hostile question about his proposal earlier this month to ask doctors to help the state build a database of childhood obesity as part of his initiative to improve the health of Michiganders. The questioner clearly considered the tactic government overreach.

But Snyder defended his proposal, saying it was not a government mandate but important information that physicians, consulting with their patients and their patients’ parents, could volunteer. It is much like, he said, when the state began to develop a database of childhood immunization decades ago.

“How many of you have ever complained about the immunization registry?” he asked. “It’s not mandating anything. So it’s a good thing.”

That answer, too, was greeted with dead silence.

The audience was in close accord, however, with the governor and his colleagues on tax policy — especially the elimination of the Michigan Business Tax — and on efforts to rein in government spending.

Shortly after the session, Snyder said

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