Q6 KLOBUCHAR: We can do two things at once. That’s our job. We have a constitutional duty to pursue this impeachment, but we also can stand up for America, because this president has not been putting America in front of his own personal interests.
He has not been standing up for the workers of Ohio. He’s not been standing up for the farmers in Iowa. And I take this even a step further. You know, when he made that call to the head of Ukraine, he’s digging up dirt on an opponent. That’s illegal conduct. That’s what he was doing. He didn’t talk to him about the Russian invasion. He talked to him about that.
So I’m still waiting to find out from him how making that call to the head of Ukraine and trying buttigieg to get him involved in interfering in our election makes America great again. I’d like to hear from him about how leaving the Kurds for slaughter, our allies for slaughter, where Russia then steps in to protect them, how that makes America great again. And I would like to hear from him about how coddling up to Vladimir Putin makes America great again.
It doesn’t make America great again. It makes Russia great again. And that is what this president has done. So whether it is workers’ issues, whether it is farmers’ issues, he has put his own private interests …
KLOBUCHAR: … and I will not do that.
Q22 LACEY KLOBUCHAR: Thank you, Senator. Senator Klobuchar…
Q22 KLOBUCHAR: At least Bernie’s being honest here and saying how he’s going to pay for this and that taxes are going to go up. And I’m sorry, Elizabeth, but you have not said that, and I think we owe it to the American people to tell them where we’re going to send the invoice.
I believe the best and boldest idea here is to not trash Obamacare but to do exactly what Barack Obama wanted to do from the beginning and that’s have a public option that would bring down the cost of the premium and expand the number of people covered and take on the pharmaceutical companies. That is what we should be doing instead of kicking 149 million people off their insurance in our years.
And I’m tired of hearing, whenever I say these things, oh, it’s Republican talking points. You are making Republican talking points right now in this room by coming out for a plan that’s going to do that. I think there is a better way that is bold, that will cover more people, and it’s the one we should get behind.
Q24 KLOBUCHAR: Those are the issues that I hear about when I’m in Toledo.
Q42 KLOBUCHAR: It could work. I am open to it. But I want to give a reality check here to Elizabeth, because no one on this stage wants to protect billionaires. Not even the billionaire wants to protect billionaires.
We just have different approaches. Your idea is not the only idea. And when I look at this, I think about Donald Trump, the guy that after that tax bill passed went to Mar-a-Lago, got together with his cronies, and said, guess what, you guys all got a lot richer. That was the one time in his presidency he told the truth.
So we have different ways — I would repeal significant portions of that tax bill that help the rich, including what he did with the corporate tax rate, including what he did on international taxation. You add it all up, you got a lot of money that, one, helps pay for that childcare, protects that dignity of work, makes sure we have decent retirement, and makes sure that our kids can go to good schools.
KLOBUCHAR: It is not one idea that rules here.
Q43 KLOBUCHAR: I would like to respond to that.
Q43 KLOBUCHAR: You know, I think simply because you have different ideas doesn’t mean you’re fighting for regular people. I wouldn’t even be up on this stage if it wasn’t for unions and the dignity of work. If my grandpa didn’t have unions protecting him in those mines, he wouldn’t have survived. If my mom didn’t have unions as a teacher, she wouldn’t have been able to make the wages she made when my parents got divorced.
So just because we have different ideas, and get to the same place in terms of beating Donald Trump and taking this on, we are in Ohio. We can win Ohio in the presidency, but only if we unite, if we unite around ideals and don’t go fighting against each other and instead take the fight to him.
Q60 KLOBUCHAR: We need to work with our allies, to work with Turkey and bring them out. This is an outrageous thing that happened here. And I think we need to talk about this not only in terms of the horror of what happened here with Turkey, but the fact that our president blew it and now he’s too proud to say it.
And what do we do now? We continue that humanitarian aid, but then we work with our allies to say come back, Turkey, and stop this, because what Mayor Pete has just said is true. Think about our other allies, Israel. How do they feel right now? Donald Trump is not true to his word when they are a beacon of democracy in the Mideast.
Think about our allies in Europe when he pulls out of the Iranian agreement and gives them holding the bag and gives the power to China and Russia.
Q60 KLOBUCHAR: Think about the nuclear agreement with Russia that he precipitously pulled out of. This is part of a pattern. It’s not an isolated incident.
Q68 KLOBUCHAR: I want to respond to Mr. Yang.
Q68 KLOBUCHAR: I want to respond to Mr. Yang. I don’t see a moral equivalency between our country and Russia. Vladimir Putin is someone who has shot down planes over Ukraine, who has poisoned his opponent, and we have not talked about what we need to do to protect ourselves from Russia invading our election.
This wasn’t meddling. That’s what I do when I call my daughter on a Saturday night and ask her what she’s doing. Sorry.
Q68 KLOBUCHAR: This was much more serious than that. This was actually invading our election. So to protect ourselves in 2020, what we need, one, backup paper ballots in every single state. That is a bill that I need, and we need to stop Mitch McConnell from stopping that from happening.
And then we need to stop the social media companies from running paid political ads, including ones last time in rubles, without having to say where those ads came from and who paid for them. That’s the Honest Ads Act. That’s a bipartisan bill that I lead. And we can’t wait…
Q68 KLOBUCHAR: … to become president to get that done. We need to get it done now.
Q75 KLOBUCHAR: I just keep thinking of how close we are to finally getting something done on this. I’m looking at the mayor of Dayton. I met one of the survivors from that shooting, 30 seconds, nine people killed.
The public is with us on this in a big way. The majority of Trump voters want to see universal background checks right now. The majority of hunters want to see us move forward with gun safety legislation. There are three bills right now on Mitch McConnell’s desk, the background check bill, my bill to close the boyfriend loophole so domestic abusers don’t get guns, the bill to make it easier for police to vet people before they get a gun. That’s what we should be focusing on.
And I just don’t want to screw this up. When I’m president, I do want to bring in an assault weapon ban and I do want to put a limitation on magazines so what happened in Dayton, Ohio, will never happen again. But let’s not mess this up with this fight.
Q80 KLOBUCHAR: Well, I want to thank her for this question. This is something that should never have happened to begin with. I remember, when I was a prosecutor, these were not the kind of cases that were coming in our door. And it’s gotten worse and worse. And we now know why.
As the evidence is coming out of those lawsuits, probably one of the most horrible things that I saw was the e-mail from one of the pharma executives that actually said, “Keep pumping them out. They’re eating them like Doritos.”
So my first answer to that question, and which is included in my plan, is that the people that should pay for this, that should pay for the treatment, are the very people that got people hooked and killed them in the first place. And that is the people that are manufacturing these opioids. That’s the first way.
And you can, with a 2 cents per milligram tax, bring in the money, plus with the federal master settlement, to help rural areas where they’re so isolated, and also in urban areas, where it’s, by the way, not just opiates. There are still mental health issues and crack cocaine issues.
This is personal for me. My dad, he struggled with alcoholism his whole life. And by his third DWI, they said to him, the prosecutor, you’ve got to face jail or you got to go to treatment. He picked treatment, and he was pursued by grace. And he has been sober ever since. And now he’s 91 and in assisted living, and he said to me last year, it’s hard to get a drink around here, anyway. But he still has an AA group that visits him there.
And so for me, I believe that everyone in this country, including the people in rural America, have that same right to be pursued by grace.
Q103 KLOBUCHAR: I would like to have a different take on this. I was in the private sector for 14 years, represented companies that were fighting to get into the telecom markets. I had a life before government.
And what I saw was when we got more competition there, the prices went down in a big way in the long distance market. Well, right now we have another gilded age going on, and I am the lead Democrat on the Antitrust Committee. I have the lead legislation, which means, one, changing the standard so we can do a better job of doing just what we’ve been talking about here, is breaking down some of this consolidation, and also making sure that the enforcers have the resources to take them on because they’re so overwhelmed.
But the issue here is this. Start talking about this as a pro-competition issue. This used to be a Republican and Democratic issue, because America, our founding fathers, actually wanted to have less consolidation. We were a place of entrepreneurship. We are seeing a startup slump in this country.
Q104 KLOBUCHAR: And this means everything from tech on down.
Q106 KLOBUCHAR: I would codify Roe v. Wade and make it the law of the land. But what I want to do right now is just say, what if Donald Trump was standing up here on the debate stage with me? You know what I would say to him? I said, you knew — you said you wanted to do this in your race for president. You actually said that you wanted to put women in jail. Then you tried to dial it back, and you said you wanted to put doctors in jail.
That is exactly what the Alabama law is. It put doctors in jail for 99 years. You, Donald Trump, are not on the side of women. You are not on the side of people of this country, when over 75 percent of people want to keep Roe v. Wade on the book, when over 90 percent of people want to make sure we have available contraception. You defunded Planned Parenthood. I would fund it again.
Q121 KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. You know, this isn’t a flyover part of the country to me. The heartland is where I live. And I want to win those states that we lost last time, and I have bold ideas to get us there. And I think just because they’re different than Elizabeth’s doesn’t mean they’re bold.
But we can’t get any of this done on climate change or immigration reform unless they win. And what I have done is win and the only one up here, time and time again, the reddest of red districts, Michele Bachmann’s, I — I won that district three times, rural districts that border Iowa and North and South Dakota. And I do it by going not just where it’s comfortable but where it’s uncomfortable.
And that is why I have been in Pennsylvania and in Michigan and in Wisconsin and all over Ohio and in Iowa, because I think we need to build a blue Democratic wall around those states and make Donald Trump pay for it.
Q128 KLOBUCHAR: For me, it’s John McCain, and I miss him every day. I traveled all over the world with him. And he would sometimes, when we were seated with world leaders, and they would look away from me, he’d say, “Senator Klobuchar is the lead Democrat on this trip, and she will go next.”
And I still remember being there at his ranch. John and I went to visit him and Cindy when he was dying. And he pointed to some words in his book, because he could hardly talk. And the words says this: “There is nothing more liberating in life than fighting for a cause larger than yourself.”
That’s what we’re doing right now. And while we have had major debates about policy, we have to remember that what unites us is so much bigger than what divides us. And we have to remember that our job is to not just change policy, but to change the tone in our politics, to look up from our phones, to look at each other, to start talking to each other, because the way we win — and not just win the presidency, but take back the U.S. Senate — is by winning big.
And the way we win big is with that fired up Democratic base that’s out there today, but it is also about bringing in independents and moderate Republicans. I can lead this. And I ask you to join me because I’ve done it before and I will do it again, amyklobuchar.com. Join our team. Thank you.