Just weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar made her case for electability once again at the Democratic debate in Des Moines.
Klobuchar emphasized her ability to pass bipartisan legislation and win in more conservative areas. The Senator also debated other candidates on political differences on issues like climate change and healthcare.
The debate began with questions about foreign policy. Candidates were asked why they’d be best prepared to take on the role as Commander in Chief, especially in light of recent tensions with Iran.
Klobuchar highlighted her experience dealing with “life and death” issues as a senator. She noted that while she was not in the Senate to vote on the Iraq war, she’s been against it since the beginning.
Klobuchar said she would also work to bring back the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Candidates criticized former Vice President Joe Biden’s vote for the Iraq war. Biden claimed he later changed his position and worked with former President Barack Obama to bring troops back.
“It was a mistaken vote, but I think my record overall… I’m prepared to compare it to anyone on this stage,” Biden said.
Healthcare once again posed an opportunity for candidates to debate the differences between a Medicare for All system or a public option. Klobuchar questioned Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders Medicare-for-All plan and its exact cost.
“This debate isn’t real… Over two-thirds of the Democrats in the Senate are not on the bill you and Senator [Elizabeth] Warren are on,” Klobuchar said. “The answer is a non-profit public option.”
Klobuchar agreed with both Warren and Sanders that lowering the cost of prescription drugs would be a top priority, with Klobuchar promising to make generic drugs more available.
When the debate shifted to climate change, businessman Tom Steyer said he would declare a national emergency on the issue on the first day of his presidency.
The moderators questioned Klobuchar’s refusal to oppose fracking, or high-pressure drilling to release natural gas below the earth’s surface.
Klobuchar said she views gas as a “transition fuel.” She then emphasized her goals to bring the country to carbon-neutral energy usage by 2050, a sentiment other candidates have echoed.
Klobuchar ended the debate by restating her ability to work across the aisle and accomplish her goals.
"So if you want to do something about racial justice and immigration and Climate change and gun safety. We need a candidate who is actually going to bring people with her,” she said.
A recent poll from the Des Moines Register poll shows Sanders leading among Iowa caucus goers, with 20 percent naming him as their first choice. Warren, Buttigieg and Biden follow respectively. Klobuchar was fifth at 6 percent.