Sen. Klobuchar touts track record over talking points

PORTSMOUTH�� Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she’s the best candidate in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination “because I come with receipts.”

The three-term senator from Minnesota, who previously served as county attorney for Hennepin County, the largest in her state, pointed to her record as she made the case for her candidacy Thursday in a meeting with Seacoast Media Group’s editorial board.

“I just don’t have the talking points, I actually have the proof points,” Klobuchar emphasized.

The moderate candidate touted her record and ability to “bring in independents and moderate Republicans” in order to beat Republican President Donald Trump in November’s general election.

“I have a track record of working across the aisle from the moment that I got in office,” she said. “I believe that courage isn’t just standing by yourself, giving a speech. I think courage is whether or not you’re willing to stand next to someone you don’t always agree with for the betterment of this country.”

The senator spoke via a video linkup as Klobuchar was in Washington, joining her 99 fellow U.S. senators serving as jurors in Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.

Criticizing efforts by the Republicans who control the chamber to prevent witnesses from testifying and limiting the introduction of new evidence, Klobuchar said, “This is our moment in history and if you just let this go and pretend it’s not happening, the truth is going to come out at some point when (former national security adviser) John Bolton finally talks or when people around (acting White House Chief of Staff) Mick Mulvaney talk about what happened.”

“The evidence is so overwhelming that this happened,” she said. “As a former prosecutor, I know that even more’s there.”

Klobuchar, who’s known to use her humor in the Senate and on the campaign trail, joked about the rules that prevent the senators from bringing their cellphones into the chamber during the impeachment trial.

“Everyone’s on digital detox and we can’t have our phones. And people actually have to look at each other and talk to each other,” she quipped. “New concept. And that’s probably a good thing for everyone.”

Klobuchar was interviewed a couple of days after she and one of her 2020 rivals � Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts � were both endorsed for the Democratic nomination by the New York Times. The same newspaper nearly a year ago reported dozens of former Klobuchar staffers characterized her as a brutal boss who mistreated them. The release of the story and the controversy it created nearly sidetracked the launch of her presidential campaign.

“It’s interesting that the New York Times endorsed me despite being the paper that ran that story,” Klobuchar noted. “Am I tough on people? Sometimes yes. But the bottom line is we are the presidential campaign that’s actually been very happy and leak-free and very cohesive from the beginning.”

Klobuchar spent most of her interview going into details on key policy issues, such as health care and prescription drug prices, climate change and deficit reduction.

Taking an indirect jab at some of her rivals for the nomination, Klobuchar said the key to strengthening major programs like Medicare and Medicaid while reducing the debt and deficit is to show “how you’re going to pay for every single thing that you propose and doing it in a real way, not a pie-in-the-sky way.”

She said her proposals are based on Congressional Budget Office scores.

The candidate said to increase revenues, she would reverse the tax cuts implemented by the president that lowered the rates for the top earners, would move the capital gains tax rate close to the personal income tax rate, raise corporate tax rates a bit, and bring the estate tax rate back to where it was during President Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House.

Klobuchar also discussed beefing up payroll taxes to help safeguard Social Security. And she praised a bill she’s co-sponsored that was introduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., that would move the federal government to biennial budgets. Nineteen states, including New Hampshire, currently have two-year budgets.

Klobuchar took aim at Trump, saying he’s “been treating the people of this country like poker chips in one of his bankrupt casinos.”

And she pledged � if elected � to be a president who makes “the decisions that need to be made.”

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