On Air
0:00
0:00
Open In Popup
MPR News

Klobuchar tries to break through during latest Democratic debate

Share story

Democratic Presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar in Detroit
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks during the first of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Tuesday at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

In her opening statement, Amy Klobuchar said, “Let’s get real.”

“You’re going to hear a lot of promises up here. But I’m going to tell you this: Yes, I have bold ideas, but they are grounded in reality,” the Minnesota senator and Democratic presidential candidate said.

Later Klobuchar explained why she opposes eliminating private health insurance, leaving an expanded Medicare as the only health care option.

“Do I think that we are going to end up voting for a plan that kicks half of America off of their current insurance in four years? No, I don't think we're going to do that,” Klobuchar said in contrast to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.  

Klobuchar favors allowing people to buy into government health insurance if they wish to. And she promoted free two-year community college as an alternative higher education proposal to four years tuition-free.

She criticized President Trump for not addressing gun violence after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. 

“I watched and wrote down nine times he said he wanted universal background checks. The next day he goes and he meets with the NRA and he folds.” Klobuchar added she supports an assault weapons ban as well as universal background checks. 

Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate In Detroit Over two nights
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., enters the spin room after the Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Tuesday at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.
Scott Olson | Getty Images

Calling it a “bread and butter” issue important to unions, Klobuchar promoted her trillion-dollar plan to improve roads, bridges and schools. She also wants to expand access to broadband internet, in another bid to win over Trump voters in rural areas.

On Wednesday, 10 more Democratic presidential hopefuls will be on CNN’s debate stage in Detroit including former Vice President Joe Biden and Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.

Klobuchar is expected to qualify for the third debate which will exclude several lower-profile contenders. Klobuchar has already met the polling threshold for the September debate, but she has yet to announce that her campaign has received the required donations from 130,000 people in at least 20 states.