Klobuchar stumps in Claremont

  • FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks during a stop at the Corner Sundry in Indianola, Iowa. Democrat Amy Klobuchar says she will become the first major 2020 candidate to have visited all 99 Iowa counties after stops scheduled for Friday in the lead off caucus state. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File) Charlie Neibergall

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 12/31/2019 8:01:25 PM
Modified: 12/31/2019 8:30:37 PM

CLAREMONT  — U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., believes voters in the November presidential election want solutions to some of the important challenges facing the country — including health care, education, jobs and immigration — that she said President Donald Trump is unable and unwilling to take on.

But there is an equally important factor voters will be considering in the general election, she added.

“There is no doubt this is an economic check on this president. But there is something else going on right now and if we miss it, it will be at our peril,” Klobuchar told her audience of about 250 at the Common Man restaurant in Claremont on Tuesday afternoon. “And that is a values check, a decency check and a patriotism check. Something bigger than the guy in the White House.”

Klobuchar, one of the five candidates who so far have qualified for the next Democratic debate on Jan. 14, said some of  Trump's behavior, such as joking with Russian President Vladimir Putin about Russian influence in the 2016 election, is a threat to a democracy.

“He makes a joke to this dictator who invaded our election,” Klobuchar said.

Pivoting to her agenda and position as a moderate in the Democratic presidential primary, Klobuchar pointed to her record of working with Republicans and winning in Republican-majority districts in her state to show that she can attract voters needed to tip the 2020 election for the Democrats.

She also said recent elections where Democrats won, despite Trump campaigning for the Republicans, show her party has a tremendous opportunity in November to “win big.”

“When I talk about winning big, this isn’t some pie in the sky,” Klobuchar said. “When you look at how we won in Kentucky and Louisiana, we can do this if we bring people along with us instead of shoving them away. You do it with an optimistic economic agenda and by bringing independent and moderate Republicans with you.”

Some of the issues she talked about included making education more affordable by doubling Pell Grants to $12,000 and raising the income eligibility for those grants to $100,000. She also supports making one- and two-year degrees free and allowing students to refinance their student loan debt.

Klobuchar promised to bring the U.S. back into the International Climate Change Accord, reinstate the clean power rules and gas mileage standards, make broadband access available nationwide by 2022 and raise the payroll tax limit for Social Security from $133,000 to $250,000.

Klobuchar has kept up a busy campaign schedule. Her visit to Keene Tuesday afternoon made for seven “town halls” in three days.

“We have been to all 10 counties in New Hampshire three times and we have doubled our staff here (in Claremont),” Klobuchar said.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at pogclmt@gmail.com

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