Tuesday April 23rd, 2019 10:12AM

Klobuchar taking campaign to Midwest states that Trump won

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — With snow falling steadily and the temperature well below freezing, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said she's joining the group of Democrats running for president and would take her campaign — and her Midwest sensibilities — directly to parts of the region Donald Trump won and that her party wants to recapture in 2020.

"For every American, I'm running for you," she told an exuberant, snow-covered crowd gathered Sunday at a park along the Mississippi River with the Minneapolis skyline in the background. "And I promise you this: As your president, I will look you in the eye. I will tell you what I think. I will focus on getting things done. That's what I've done my whole life. And no matter what, I'll lead from the heart."

Klobuchar, who easily won a third-term last year, is the most prominent candidate from the Midwest to enter the race. She's pointed to her broad appeal across Minnesota — where she's drawn support from voters in urban, suburban and rural areas, including in dozens of counties Trump won in 2016 — and says that success could translate to other Midwestern states such as Michigan and Wisconsin, reliably Democratic in presidential races for decades until Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton.

Klobuchar said she would travel next weekend to Iowa, home to the nation's first caucus, joking it's "a place where we in Minnesota like to go south for the winter." That trip will be followed by stops in Wisconsin, where Clinton was criticized in 2016 for not spending enough time.

"We're starting in Wisconsin because as you remember there wasn't a lot of campaigning in Wisconsin in 2016. With me, that changes," Klobuchar told reporters after the event, noting her mother grew up in the state. "I'm going to be there a lot."

Klobuchar, who has prided herself for achieving results through bipartisan cooperation, did not utter Trump's name during her kickoff speech. But she did bemoan the conduct of "foreign policy by tweet" and said Americans must "stop the fear-mongering and stop the hate. ... We all live in the same country of shared dreams." And she said that on first day as president, she would have the U.S. rejoin an international climate agreement that Trump has withdrawn from.

Trump responded to Klobuchar's announcement with a tweet mocking her stance on global warming, a phenomenon he has disputed in the past. He wrote that Klobuchar talked proudly "of fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Bad timing. By the end of her speech she looked like a Snowman(woman)!" Trump often overlooks evidence of record global warming and conflates cold spells and other incidents of weather with climate, which is long-term.

Asserting her Midwestern values, she told a crowd warmed by hot chocolate, apple cider, heat lamps and bonfires: "I don't have a political machine. I don't come from money. But what I do have is this: I have grit." She said the country's "sense of community is fracturing" today, "worn down by the petty and vicious nature of our politics. We are all tired of the shutdowns and the showdowns, the gridlock and the grandstanding."

The list of Democrats already in the race features several better-known senators with the ability to raise huge amounts of money — Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey, who welcomed Klobuchar to the race during a campaign stop in South Carolina.

The field soon could expand to include prominent Democrats such as former Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

A Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll conducted by Selzer & Company in December found that Klobuchar was largely unfamiliar to likely Iowa caucus-goers, with 54 percent saying they didn't know enough about her to have an opinion, while 38 percent had a favorable opinion and 8 percent had an unfavorable opinion.

"She starts out perhaps with a better understanding of Midwestern voters, but I think she faces the same hurdles every one of them face, which is: Are Iowans going to find them either the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump or the candidate that most aligns with their ideologies and issues?" said John Norris, a longtime Iowa-based Democratic strategist. "I don't know that coming from Minnesota gives her any advantage with Iowans."

Klobuchar, 58, is known as a straight-talking pragmatist willing to work with Republicans, making her one of the Senate's most productive members at passing legislation.

Cindy York, a retired teacher who attended the rally, said she's always respected Klobuchar for her "ability to get at the hard questions in a polite and respectful way," adding "I think we need a lot more of that in this country."

She said she has friends of all political leanings who have supported Klobuchar, and she sees that as an advantage over the rest of the Democratic field.

"Many of the others are probably a little too liberally perceived or left-leaning," York said. "I think Amy is perceived as more of a centrist, always has been, and I have tremendous respect for that. She's a consensus builder and we need that."

The rally took place not far from the Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi. The span was built after the previous bridge collapsed in 2007, killing 13 people. Klobuchar had worked with then Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., to help fund the new bridge and get it completed at a faster-than-usual pace.

"We worked across the aisle to get the federal funding and we rebuilt that I-35W bridge — in just over a year. That's community. That's a shared story. That's ordinary people doing extraordinary things," she said.

Klobuchar's focus in recent months has included prescription drug prices, a new farm bill and election security. She supports the "Green New Deal," a Democratic plan proposed this past week to combat climate change and create thousands of jobs in renewable energy.

But her legislative record has drawn criticism from both the GOP and some fellow Democrats. Some Republicans say Klobuchar is able to get things done because she pushes smaller issues. Some progressives say she lacks the kind of fire and bold ideas needed to bring significant change and excite voters.

Klobuchar on Sunday also responded to news reports that she has mistreated staff, saying she "can be tough" but has many staff members who've worked for her for many years.

"I can push people. I know that," she told reporters after the event. "I have I'd say high expectations for myself, I have high expectations for the people who work for me, but I have high expectations for this country. And that's what we need. We need someone who is focused on getting things done for this country."

Klobuchar, a lawyer and the former prosecutor in Minnesota's largest county, raised her national profile during a Senate Judiciary Committee last fall for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexually assaulting a woman when they were both in high school.

When Klobuchar asked Kavanaugh whether he ever had had so much to drink that he didn't remember what happened, he turned the question around. He asked Klobuchar, "Have you?"

Unruffled, Klobuchar continued as Kavanaugh asked again. Kavanaugh later apologized to Klobuchar, whose father is an alcoholic.

"When you have a parent who's an alcoholic, you're pretty careful about drinking," she said. "I was truly trying to get to the bottom of the facts and the evidence."

Among the other Midwestern lawmakers who could seek the nomination are Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who has been visiting early voting states, and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who established an exploratory committee last month.


AP Polling Editor Emily Swanson in Washington contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP Business, AP Elections - Political Conventions, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2019
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Female acts, rap songs win big at the Grammy Awards
Women return and rap songs triumph at Grammy Awards; Childish Gambino makes history with 'This Is America'
1:17AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Top Pentagon official in Afghanistan amid push for peace
The Pentagon's top official has arrived in Afghanistan to meet with U.S. commanders and Afghan leaders amid a push for peace with the Taliban
1:16AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect due in federal court
A truck driver accused of killing 11 people and wounding seven during an attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue in October is expected in court to be arraigned on additional charges
1:06AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Possible impeachment could further upend Virginia politics
Virginia lawmakers face the unprecedented prospect of impeachment as they struggle to address revelations of past racist behavior and allegations of sexual assault in the highest levels of power
12:23AM ( 1 hour ago )
Some Washington sheriffs refuse to enforce new gun laws
Sheriffs in a dozen Washington counties say they won't enforce the state's sweeping new restrictions on semi-automatic rifles until the courts decide whether they are constitutional.
12:21AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Kacey Musgraves wins album of the year Grammy
The Latest: Kacey Musgraves win album of the year Grammy Award
11:44PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
The Latest: Dua Lipa wins best new artist Grammy Award
The Latest: Dua Lipa wins best new artist Grammy Award, beating out Bebe Rexha, H.E.R. and other new acts
11:26PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: H.E.R. wins best R&B album Grammy Award
The Latest: H.E.R. wins best R&B album Grammy Award
10:54PM ( 2 hours ago )
Drake wins rap song Grammy, Childish Gambino makes history
Drake wins best rap song; Childish Gambino makes history with 'This is America'
10:47PM ( 2 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Rep Walter Jones Jr. of North Carolina dies on 76th birthday
GOP Congressman Walter B. Jones Jr. of North Carolina, once-fervent supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and later an outspoken critic of the war, dies on 76th birthday
9:26PM ( 4 hours ago )
Congressman Walter Jones Jr. of North Carolina dies at 76
Republican U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr. of North Carolina, once-fervent supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and later an outspoken critic of the war, dies on 76th birthday
8:55PM ( 4 hours ago )
Dems' 2020 field now includes Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar has joined the growing group of Democrats jostling to be president
8:45PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar expected to join 2020 Dem race
Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is expected to join the 2020 race for president on Sunday
2:40PM ( 10 hours ago )
Shutdown deadline looms as wall negotiations hit a snag
The White House is not ruling out another government shutdown as negotiations over funding for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall stall
12:02PM ( 13 hours ago )
Virginia lieutenant governor resists calls to step down
Lawyers for both women who have accused Virginia's lieutenant governor of sexual assault say they are willing to testify
10:50AM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Latest: Minn. Sen. Amy Klobuchar running for president
Add one more name to the growing list of Democrats who want to be president in 2020: Amy Klobuchar, a three-term senator from Minnesota
3:32PM ( 9 hours ago )
The Latest: Hand warmers, cider ahead of Klobuchar's speech
It's a festive atmosphere on a cold and snowy day in Minneapolis as an exuberant crowd has gathered at a park along the Mississippi River waterfront for what's expected to be Sen. Amy Klobuchar's announcement that she's running for president
2:33PM ( 10 hours ago )
Liberals eye 2020 takeover of Wisconsin Supreme Court
Liberals are optimistic about taking over majority control of Wisconsin's Supreme Court, with a critical election two months away that will serve as both a barometer of the state's political mood heading into the 2020 presidential contest
10:50AM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Elections
The Latest: 2020 rival defends Warren against Trump attack
One of Warren's rivals in the Democratic race for president is coming to her defense in the face of attacks by Trump's re-election campaign
1:35PM ( 1 day ago )
Sen. Warren's expected 2020 bid banking on populist appeal
Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren is getting ready to enter the 2020 presidential contest on Saturday
10:25AM ( 1 day ago )
Ukrainian president vows to push for EU, NATO membership
Ukraine's president says the nation needs to join the European Union and NATO to protect itself from Russia's expansionist actions
10:01AM ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
Malaysian ex-PM Najib combative ahead of 1MDB graft trial
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is hardly lying low ahead of his corruption trial on charges related to the multibillion-dollar looting of the 1MDB state investment fund
10:43PM ( 2 hours ago )
Asian stocks mixed ahead of next round of US-China talks
Asian stocks mixed, Chinese markets edge higher ahead of US-China talks
10:31PM ( 2 hours ago )
'The Favourite,' 'Roma' win big at British Academy Awards
Tragicomic royal drama "The Favourite" and Mexican family memoir "Roma" have split the honors with multiple wins each at the British Academy Film Awards _ victories that suggest a wind of change may be blowing through the movie industry
5:15PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business
Warren picks a faded mill city for presidential announcement
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is expected to launch her presidential campaign in one of New England's poorest and most Latino cities
7:28AM ( 2 days ago )
Democrats and GOP square off over Trump's tax returns
With Democrats now controlling the House and holding the legal key to seeking President Donald Trump's tax returns, Republican lawmakers are invoking privacy in defending Trump's flank
12:33AM ( 3 days ago )
Dems turn focus to tax returns - and Trump's loom largest
The new Democratic-controlled House is looking at proposals to compel presidents and presidential candidates to make public years of their tax returns
3:24PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
Trump's Year 3 aims for dramatic sequels to rival originals
As Trump prepares to meet North Korea's leader for a second time, he's out to replicate the suspenseful buildup, make-or-break stakes and far-flung rendezvous of their first encounter
4:38PM ( 1 day ago )
Harris to place deputy political director in South Carolina
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris has hired a seasoned operative to head her 2020 presidential campaign in the critical early-voting state of South Carolina
7:01AM ( 2 days ago )
Booker taking 2020 campaign, call for social justice to Iowa
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is taking his call for social justice to Iowa, where he plans to visit with African-American leaders on his first trip to the early 2020 caucus state as a Democratic presidential candidate
1:19AM ( 3 days ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
The Latest: Collaborators: No word from Glover on Grammys
The Latest: Donald Glover's collaborators say even they don't know where he was on night of history-making Grammy wins
1:02AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Ariana Grande a no-show despite winning first Grammy Award
Ariana Grande won her first Grammy Award on Sunday, but the singer didn't collect it after deciding to skip the ceremony following a public dispute with the show's producer
12:46AM ( 42 minutes ago )
Female acts, rap songs win big at the Grammy Awards
Women return and rap songs triumph at Grammy Awards; Childish Gambino makes history with 'This Is America'
12:42AM ( 46 minutes ago )
Negotiations hit snag as shutdown deadline approaches
As the White House refuses to rule out the possibility that the federal government may shut down again, negotiators clash over whether to limit the number of migrants authorities can detain
12:37AM ( 51 minutes ago )
The Latest: Grande deletes Grammy tweet on Mac Miller snub
The Latest: Ariana Grande tweeted and then deleted criticism of the Grammys after the late Mac Miller - her ex - lost to Cardi B for rap album of the year.
12:35AM ( 53 minutes ago )