Publish date:

How did Amy Klobuchar do in Tuesday night's debate?

The senator stuck to her more moderate policies, emphasizing her electability in a still crowded field.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar maintained she wouldn’t make promises she couldn’t keep as President and emphasized her ability to win in red districts at Tuesday night’s Democratic Presidential debate. This put her in more of a middle-of-road position as many of her fellow candidates argued over how progressive a Democratic nominee needs to be.

Klobuchar started out with stating she wouldn’t make promises that were too big, a pattern that would follow with her stances of things like health care and college affordability.

“You're going to hear a lot of promises up here, but I'm gonna will tell you this. Yes, I have bold ideas but they are grounded in reality. And, yes, I will make some simple promises,” she said.

The senator’s first question came in the form of a reaction to previous comments from Senator Elizabeth Warren, who said candidates opposed to Medicare for All were “not willing to fight for it.” Klobuchar responded by saying she didn’t want to kick people off of their existing insurance plans and instead offer public option, a stance echoed by candidates like former Rep. John Delaney.

"Clearly this is the quickest way to get things done. People can’t wait," she said.

Senator Bernie Sanders pushed back, claiming those with private insurance aren’t always covered and still face high costs.

"People talk about having insurance. There are millions of people who have insurance who can’t go to the doctor and when they come out of the hospital they go bankrupt."

Healthcare was one of the most talked-about issue on stage Monday night, with  conversations dominated by Sanders and Warren, both supporters of Medicare for All. According to CNN, Warren talked for a total of around 18 minutes, the most of any of the 10 candidates. Sanders was close behind, compared to Klobuchar’s 10 minutes.

Klobuchar on immigration, guns

Immigration issues came up next, with candidates being asked if they would decriminalize undocumented border crossings. South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg said under him, crossing illegally would still be a crime, but handled instead under civil law.

Currently, crossing illegally can be handled either as a misdemeanor or as a civil violation.

“We’ve got a crisis on our hands. And it’s not just a crisis of immigration. It’s a crisis of cruelty and incompetence.”

Klobuchar did not address decriminalizing crossings, but said a willingness for reform does exist in Congress. She said what’s needed is “the right person in the White House.”

Her plan revolves around allowing refugees to seek asylum, securing the border and processing cases more efficiently to help immigrants become citizens.

Buttigieg emphasized his age when the issue of gun violence came up, noting he was in high school when the Columbine massacre took place.

Klobuchar’s stance on gun violence was rooted in taking on the National Rifle Association. "The people are with us," she said of support for gun control measures. The issue, she said, is that politicians will eventually “fold” to the NRA.

These remarks led to a larger conversation about corporate money in politics.

Marianne Williamson, an unexpected standout of Tuesday’s debate, called for a constitutional amendment and public campaign funding.

"The issue of gun safety is that the NRA has us in a chokehold. But so do the pharmaceutical companies and so do the health insurance companies and so do the fossil fuel companies and so do the defense contractors," she said.

She says her opponents can't fund their promises

Klobuchar was later pressed on her claims that policies like Medicare for All and tuition-free public college were promises her opponents couldn’t keep. Moderators asked her what candidates were making such promises.

The senator responded by stating everyone on stage was trying to get elected. She said policies like Medicare for All might win an argument but will not win an election.

“I think how we win an election by bring everyone with us. I have won in those districts that Donald Trump won by 20 points."

Finally, on the issue of college affordability, Klobuchar once again took a more moderate stance.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke said he supports tuition-free two-year college and would support trade work as a viable option for students.

While Sanders said he supports tuition-free college for all students, Klobuchar said she would focus resources on the neediest students and emphasized loan refinancing as an option. She criticized plans she said would send wealthy students to college for free, claiming it would add to the nation’s growing debt.

“I want to make it easier for kids to go to college.” she said. “My problem with some of these plans is they literally would pay for wealthy kids, for Wall Street kids, to go to college.”

Klobuchar closed by saying she would govern with “integrity.”

"We have a President where people turn off the TV when they see him. Not me. I will make you proud as your president."

Next Up

Tanner Morgan/Gopher Football

Morgan's resurgence, Nebraska's miscues help Gophers hold on

The Gophers quarterback threw a pair of touchdowns in a 30-23 victory.

Tina Smith

Sen. Tina Smith warns Dems she may not vote for budget bill if climate plan dropped

This comes amid a White House effort to get its "Build Back Better" plan passed.

Pixabay - emergency room ambulance hospital

St. Paul man dies six days after crash on I-94

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has identified the man as David Rodney Hardaway.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Double murder in northeastern Minnesota, suspect kills himself after chase

The suspect died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

chaska school fight

Anti-masker involved in school board meeting fight charged with assault

It happened last month at an Eastern Carver County Schools hearing.

Marcus Foligno

Marcus Foligno throws hands, scores game-winning goal in Wild's opener

The Wild forward scored with 7.2 seconds left to beat Anaheim.

Screen Shot 2021-10-15 at 10.01.55 PM

Large police presence at Emagine Willow Creek movie theater in Plymouth

There are few details at this stage as to what has happened.

Maple Grove Police Department

Maple Grove-based businessman convicted of fatally shooting wife

Wiseman owns properties in both Minnesota, Nevada and China.

betty and earls biscuits facebook

Jason Matheson's biscuit shop to briefly close ahead of relaunch

Betty & Earl's will shut down for two weeks before reopening under a new name.

Simon Merino Go Fund Me

Worker dies in forklift accident at paper recycling business

The victim was described as a loving father of two who was devoted to his church.

rosie means - go fund me

Authorities ID woman killed by hit-and-run driver who ran red light

A fundraiser was created to support the family after the "sudden and senseless loss."

Prior Lake Football

Watch: Prior Lake stuns Rosemount with last-second hook and ladder

The Lakers dusted off an old favorite to get a victory on Thursday night.



How did Amy Klobuchar do in Wednesday night's debate?

The Minnesota Senator pushed more middle-of-the-road policies than her opponents.


Amy Klobuchar qualifies for Democratic debates this fall

The Minnesota senator announced she had qualified Friday.


How did Amy Klobuchar do in the Democratic debate?

Klobuchar debated candidates on issues including foreign policy, climate change and healthcare.

Screen Shot 2019-09-13 at 7.38.42 AM

What did Amy Klobuchar say during the Democratic debate?

She joined her presidential rivals for the live debate on Thursday evening.

Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 8.01.05 AM

What did Amy Klobuchar reveal at her CNN town hall?

The Minnesota senator took questions from citizens in New Hampshire.

Amy Klobuchar

What did Amy Klobuchar say at the CNN climate change town hall?

She continued to strike a moderate tone towards major issues.


Amy Klobuchar now polling in double digits in Iowa

The senator is gaining some ground in a crowded field.

Amy klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar's presidential bid boosted by fundraising spike

Klobuchar more than doubled her numbers from the previous quarter.