President Donald Trump has divided the country and sold out our democracy, Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in a campaign appearance in Seattle Monday morning, while arguing that she is the Democratic candidate who can win over Trump’s Midwest supporters.
Klobuchar, a third-term senator from Minnesota, pitched her electability, saying she’s never lost an election (going back to elementary school) and has won every congressional district in her state, from the liberal Twin Cities to the rural district once held by conservative firebrand Michele Bachmann.
To win back not just the presidency but the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate as well, Klobuchar argued that Democrats need someone at the top of the ticket who can win in conservative areas.
“We need to bring back that 10% of Trump voters that also voted for Barack Obama,” Klobuchar told a couple hundred people at Zoka Coffee in the University District. “You don’t just govern for half the country, you govern for all the country.”
The crowd filled the small room where she spoke, with overflow spilling through a corridor to another part of the cafe.
Klobuchar said Democrats have to approach their impeachment inquiry, which she supports, with responsibility and “somberness.”
She predicted that former White House employees “who are very horrified by what’s going on there” would come forward and testify in the investigations.
“This is about something very straightforward,” Klobuchar said, telling voters to look beyond what they see on cable news. “This is about selling out our democracy. It’s about putting your own interests and your partisan issues, and your business issues and your political issues in front of our democracy.”
Justin Phillips, a flight attendant and union steward from Seattle who attended Monday’s campaign event, said Klobuchar is on his “shortlist” of Democratic candidates because he thinks she can appeal to the type of traditionally Democratic union voters that Trump made inroads with in 2016.
“She can win in red districts,” Phillips said. “It’s nice to hear people talk about that and not just taking that far-left lane.”
Klobuchar’s 30-minute speech was relatively light on policy. She pointed the audience to her website, where she says she’s listed 100 actions she’ll take in her first 100 days.
“I’ve got a plan, yes, but it’s got deadlines,” she said, a subtle jab at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whose raft of detailed policy plans has become a campaign rallying call.
Klobuchar promised to move quickly on climate change, praising Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, whose scrapped presidential campaign made the issue preeminent. In her first week as president, she said, she would re-enter the U.S. in the Paris Climate Agreement, re-implement Obama regulations on gas mileage and clean power generation and introduce sweeping legislation to put a price on carbon.
She promised a “public option” on health care, comprehensive immigration reform and action on gun control, calling for universal background checks, an assault-weapons ban and legislation to address high-capacity ammunition magazines.
She credited youth activism with starting to shift the nation’s attitudes on gun control, comparing it to the push for same-sex marriage.
“Time after time kids across the country started talking with their parents and then they marched and then they voted,” she said. “I come from a proud hunting state and the hunters have started to look at this in a different way because our kids and our grandkids have talked about it.”
While in Seattle, Klobuchar is also scheduled to attend a fundraiser Monday, co-hosted by Microsoft President Brad Smith and Zumiez founder Tom Campion, according to an invitation.