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Amy Klobuchar

Senator from Minnesota
Jump to stances on the issues
Klobuchar has touted her Midwestern roots and ability to work across the aisle to pass legislation while campaigning as a moderate choice. She was first elected to the US Senate in 2006.
Yale University, B.A. (1982); University of Chicago Law School, J.D. (1985)
May 25, 1960
John Bessler
Congregationalist (United Church of Christ)
Hennepin County attorney, 1999-2007;
Partner at the law firm Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty and Bennett in Minneapolis, 1993-1998;
Attorney, and later partner at the law firm Dorsey and Whitney in Minneapolis, 1985-1993
National Polling
Fox News
Updated 01/26/20
Washington Post/ ABC News
Updated 01/26/20
Monmouth Univ.
Updated 01/22/20
Klobuchar's 2020 Presidential Fundraising Totals
2020 cycle to date
Updated 09/30/2019
Updated 09/30/2019
Updated 09/30/2019
Based on Federal Elections Commission data covering activity through 09/30/2019
Amy Klobuchar asks for her ticket out of Iowa as she's hampered by impeachment
Updated 5:46 PM ET, Mon Jan 27, 2020
Amy Klobuchar ended her frenetic, 36-hour sprint across Iowa with a direct plea. "This person deserves a ticket out of Iowa, to be able to go forward, and I am asking you to do that for me." It was a blunt moment here in Des Moines from a senator already known for her candor. And it highlights two things: how the requirement that she be in Washington, DC, six days out of the week for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump has fettered her Iowa plans, and how critical the Hawkeye State is to her overall success in the Democratic primary. Visit CNN's Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 race Klobuchar needs a good showing in Iowa more than almost any candidate in the 2020 field -- her poll numbers outside of the state trail her competitors and she has shown little ability to win over black and Latino voters, who will be critical in contests in Nevada, South Carolina and other contests. And thus the implications of not being in the state during the impeachment trial could be far more damaging for her than Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, two senators with more fulsome support in the state and across the country. A sleep-starved Klobuchar, after spending most of her week in Washington, arrived in Iowa on Saturday afternoon and wasted no time, talking with voters who she hopes will help her overperform in Iowa. "Did I ever think those last two weeks I wouldn't really be able to be here on the road?" she asked rhetorically as her bus rolled from the Muscatine airport to her next event. "You know, you read about your opponents out there doing what you want to be doing." But when those thoughts creep into her head, she says she tries to "step back" and remember the "constitutional duty" she is upholding in the Senate. "People are going to get it," she said optimistically during an interview with CNN on her bus. "I have a heartfelt plea that I'm making to my supporters who are pretty vigorously there." The senator has tried to stay relevant by becoming a fixture on both local and cable television during the impeachment trial, often running off the Senate floor and directly to a camera. The senator has also held one tele-town hall, with Klobuchar pushing her message to Iowans who may still be considering her. But while those efforts are helpful, Klobuchar acknowledged they are not substitute for being on the ground. "I never thought I wasn't going to be able to be back here all next week, never in my wildest dreams," Klobuchar said on Sunday. "But that is what my life is, and I am doing the right thing." A slew of statewide polls have her in the fifth position in the state, behind former Vice President Joe Biden, Sanders, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Warren. A recent New York Times/Siena College poll found her at 8% in the state, well behind the other four candidates. Klobuchar's advisers and supporters say the senator needs to surpass expectations on caucus night and most top Iowa Democrats take that to mean breaking into the top four. The senator has pledged she will take her campaign to New Hampshire no matter what, as she has already qualified for the next debate in the state, but operatives and analysts note that recovering from a disappointing finish in Iowa, a state that is notably similar to the senator's home, could be ruinous. Jumping into the top four is tall task for the Minnesota senator and Klobuchar is honest when asked about where she needs to finish on caucus night. "We are now in the top five firmly and clearly I want to be in that group, and then the chips will fall where they may," Klobuchar told CNN. "I'm always a realist and the fact that I can't be here it doesn't make it easy, but we are doing well. And, again, there's many tickets out of Iowa." Two days of campaigning in two weeks Klobuchar was greeted by sizable crowds during her mad dash across Iowa on Saturday and Sunday. But hanging over all of it was a reality that her focus on Iowa plan has been upended. "I've got to put what I thought was going to be two weeks of campaigning into about two days," she said in Bettendorf. The senator's message to Iowans this weekend was far more focused on Trump than other Democrats. The senator excoriated the President for everything from getting millions from his father to start his business empire to being, in her view, a whiner. Still, Klobuchar also stepped up the pointed critiques of her opponents, especially Sanders, who is surging in Iowa and offers a dramatically different vision than the moderate senator. "My whole argument is that I will make our tent bigger, our coalition wider and my coattails longer," she told CNN on Sunday, making the argument that she -- unlike Sanders -- will help Democrats in competitive House and Senate races. "That is what I've proven. I actually have the receipts. I do not come from a state that's as blue as Vermont." She added: "I am the only one up there that's in Congress actually in the field that has passed over 100 bills, as the lead Democrat, and that's different than Senator Sanders." Klobuchar's steady growth in Iowa has come, according to Democratic operatives across the state, from growing support along among caucusgoers from along Iowa's border with Minnesota, especially rural communities that mirror many of the same places the senator represents in the neighboring state. "Klobuchar has a record and history on what she has been able to do in Minnesota, which is extensive, and I think a lot of rural folks down here understand that and even if they might be more progressive than Klobuchar, they can relate with what she has been able to do," said JD Scholten, the Democratic congressional candidate in Iowa's 4th Congressional district who hasn't endorsed anyone ahead of the caucus. "Midwesterners feel a little bit more comfortable with other Midwesterners." One reason for this success is that Klobuchar made it a point, before the Senate trial began, to visit every one of Iowa's 99 counties, a feat called the "Full Grassley," after the state's senior Republican senator, Chuck Grassley. Even though some of those events meant simply stopping in a county and inviting a few Iowans onto the bus in a gas station parking lot, Klobuchar has used the accomplishment to burnish her ability to win back voters who gravitated toward Trump four years ago. "She is that genuine, authentic person who can relate to what keeps people up in communities where I live," said Pam Johnson, a farmer from rural Floyd County, Iowa, and the former head of the National Corn Growers Association. "She gets (rural voters) and they get her, and I just seem them being really comfortable with her as a candidate." There are some Iowans, however, who question the depth of support Klobuchar enjoys in the state, especially in cities like Des Moines. "I would love to see Amy Klobuchar break in the top four, but I haven't seen the indications of it yet," said Sean Bagniewski, the chair of the Polk County Democratic Party. "Her endorsements are some of the best, but her polls aren't moving much, and time is running out to catch up." But high-profile Iowans like Dave Nagle, a former representative from Cedar Falls, is more upbeat about the senator's chances. "I think she's right where she should be," Nagle told CNN. "I think she's got great potential. I'm not diminishing the other candidates because I don't endorse, they all have their strengths, but I sense that if anybody's had any movement here, is gaining momentum as we close out, she would be one of the two that I would see."
climate crisis
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Klobuchar dedicated a portion of her announcement speech to climate, saying that within her first 100 days in office, she would “reinstate the clean power rules and the gas mileage standards and put forth sweeping legislation to invest in green jobs and infrastructure.” Klobuchar in September 2019 released a climate plan to put the US on a path to 100% net-zero emissions by 2050 through “sweeping” legislative revisions. Klobuchar has committed to rejoining the Paris climate accord, a 2015 landmark deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon, on “Day One.” While she has co-sponsored the Green New Deal – the broad plan to address renewable-energy infrastructure and climate change proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York – she has said in multiple interviews that she sees the bill as more “aspirational” than a solid legislative proposal. More on Klobuchar’s climate crisis policy
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Klobuchar has said the Trump corporate tax cuts in 2017 went “way too far.” She would raise the corporate tax rate to 25%, something she says would provide $100 billion to pay for “people’s roads and bridges.” Under a retirement savings plan she introduced in the Senate, she would return the household tax rate to 39.6% for top earners. She opposes the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement – a successor deal to the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiated by Trump – as it is written and has called for changes. She has said she believes “we need to be doing everything we can to help American farmers sell more of their products in foreign markets.” Klobuchar has called for equal pay and is a co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would provide remedies for wage discrimination. More on Klobuchar’s economic policy
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Klobuchar rolled out her education plan in July 2019, pledging to roll back a host of Trump’s education priorities, including a school choice tax credit, a plan that critics believe would take money away from public schools. She has previously expressed support for free community college and expanded financial aid for low-income students – but is against making all public colleges free. “I am not for free four-year college for all, no,” Klobuchar said in February 2019 at a CNN town hall. “If I was a magic genie and could afford to give that to everyone, I would.” The senator does not support wiping out all student debt, but does back expanding loan forgiveness for people in “in-demand jobs” and refinancing student loans at lower rates. More on Klobuchar’s education policy
gun violence
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Klobuchar has sought to explain her view on guns through her home state of Minnesota and her family’s love of hunting. With that standard in mind, Klobuchar says she supports banning so-called assault weapons, bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. She has also backed universal background checks. “We should join the majority of Americans and actually many gun owners in having the courage to pass common-sense gun safety legislation,” Klobuchar said at a CNN town hall in February 2019. The senator has also proposed closing the “boyfriend loophole” in order to stop people who abused their dating partners from buying or owning firearms. More on Klobuchar’s gun violence policy
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Klobuchar has voiced skepticism about “Medicare for All” legislation, which would create a government-run health care plan and essentially eliminate the private insurance industry. During the first Democratic primary debate in June 2019, she expressed concern about “kicking half of America off of their health insurance in four years.” Instead, she supports creating a government-run public option, which she has said could be done by expanding Medicare or Medicaid. She also wants to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, promising to take executive action to do so during her first 100 days in office by increasing federal subsidies for premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, as well as other methods. Also during her first 100 days, Klobuchar said, she would allow the importation of drugs from countries such as Canada. And she supports allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. More on Klobuchar’s health care policy
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Klobuchar supports comprehensive immigration revisions, including a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who are in the country legally, refugees who have been in the country for decades and undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children and qualified for protections under Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. She has said she would issue an executive order to end family separation at the border and to reunify children already separated from their parents. She does not support abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement and instead would opt to overhaul the law enforcement agency. The senator is opposed to building a wall across the entire US-Mexico border but has called for “smart border protection,” including improved fencing and technology. More on Klobuchar’s immigration policy
Trump unveils controversial Middle East plan alongside Netanyahu
Updated 12:30 PM ET, Tue Jan 28, 2020
When President Donald Trump unveiled his administration's long-anticipated proposal to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the White House on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was at his side. "Today," Trump announced from the East Room, "Israel takes a big step towards peace." The head of the Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, was thousands of miles away, having cut off diplomatic contact with the US more than two years earlier after Trump broke with longstanding US policy and recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. That juxtaposition was the central and startling backdrop to the unveiling of a proposal three years in the making that is overwhelmingly expected to be skewed in Israel's favor and is largely viewed as dead on arrival in the region. Trump insisted his plan was different from past failed attempts at brokering peace between Israelis and Palestinians. And he made a nod to the absent party, saying the Palestinians deserve a "far better life" than their current situation. Without seeing the details, Palestinian officials have already rejected the plan out of hand -- saying that any deal that does not label Israel as an "occupying force" will be the "fraud of the century." And even in Israel, the plan's release is already being viewed through a political lens -- as an attempt by Trump -- whose own Senate impeachment trial is underway -- to bolster his ally Netanyahu, who is facing bribery and corruption charges as well as another election in just over a month. Adding to the controversial split-screen moment, Netanyahu was formally indicted on charges of bribery and fraud and breach of trust in three separate corruption cases on Tuesday -- just hours before he was set to join Trump at the White House. Trump administration officials, meanwhile, insist it is an earnest, if unorthodox, effort to resolve the decades-old conflict, pointing to their invitation of Netanyahu's political rival, Benny Gantz, to see the plan as proof that it is apolitical. Trump sounded circumspect about the chances of success for his own plan as he welcomed Netanyahu into the Oval Office on Monday ahead of the plan's release. "We're going to show a plan that's been worked on by everybody, and we'll see whether or not it catches on," Trump said. "If it does, that would be great. And if it doesn't we can live with it too. But I think it might have a chance." The plan's release follows more than a year of unprecedented political uncertainty in Israel -- including two elections that failed to produce a governing coalition -- that have repeatedly delayed the rollout. Ultimately, Trump administration officials decided to release their proposal ahead of the latest Israeli election, quietly hoping that the proposal could unite Netanyahu and his political rival Benny Gantz into leading a broad-based parliamentary coalition, sources familiar with the dynamic have said. Some Middle East experts have argued that the plan -- given the lack of Palestinian involvement and the release's proximity to upcoming Israeli elections -- is squarely aimed at bolstering Netanyahu, giving him a statesman-like moment weeks before the Israeli election. It's also a move that emphasizes the importance of Netanyahu's close ties to the Trump administration. The White House proposal on Tuesday is expected to address the conflict's most central and intractable political issues, from the status of Jerusalem to borders and security, Israeli settlements and the right of return for Palestinian refugees. It will build on a $50 billion economic proposal unveiled last June, which called for international investment, grants and loan over 10 years to spur the Palestinian economy if there is first a political resolution to the conflict. The President's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who has helmed the peace effort, pitched the proposal during a "Peace to Prosperity" conference in Bahrain, emphasizing the potential for economic growth in the Palestinian territories and in the Middle East more broadly if Israel and Palestinian leaders can agree to a peace deal. But the economic proposal was met with a thud in the Palestinian territories, where mistrust in the Trump administration reigns following a steady stream of policy moves that have bolstered Israel and undermined the Palestinian position: from US recognition of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli territory to cutting off all US support for aid projects aimed at helping Palestinians. The White House's peace team has also repeatedly criticized Palestinian leaders, but shown a near-total aversion to criticizing the Israeli government. Jason Greenblatt, a co-author of the White House plan who left the administration last fall, told CNN in June that he had not "found anything to criticize" on the Israeli side. At the time, Greenblatt said he hoped neither side took unilateral action before the plan is released. Now, the Trump administration's actions give rise to a potential scenario that they will give Israel a perceived green light to act alone with the plan's unveiling. Ahead of the peace plan release, speculation has reached a fever-pitch about the extent to which the Trump administration will propose Israel annex swaths of the Palestinian territories. As the Trump administration prepared to release its proposal, Netanyahu's rival Gantz joined him last week in vowing to annex the Jordan River Valley that separates the Palestinian West Bank from Jordan, though Gantz said he would do so in coordination with the international community. Senior Trump administration officials have repeatedly emphasized that Israel's security needs have only increased in the years since previous proposals have been on the table, suggesting that the Trump proposal will lean toward bolstering those Israeli security needs. But they have also said that there will be elements of the plan that will be appealing to Palestinians. Throughout the process, though, Trump administration officials have refused to say whether their plan will back the notion of a two-state solution to the conflict, raising the question of whether the proposal will accede to Palestinian demands for a sovereign state. Calls for a Palestinian State, even if conditioned on demands the Palestinians would never accept, has already been flatly rejected by at least some of Israel's hardline right-wing. Trump administration officials have made clear, though, that they are leaning on increasingly close relations between Israel and Sunni Arab countries in the Middle East, a rapprochement largely borne out of tensions with Iran. Gulf countries, like Saudi Arabia, have signaled that they could take their relationships with Israel out of the shadows and into the open if there is a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Trump administration officials hope those Arab countries will wield their influence to encourage Palestinians to at least consider this proposal though Trump said many of the Arab countries have already agreed to the plan. But those countries have been noticeably quiet to this point, hesitant to endorse a plan that has not yet been unveiled.