Campaign Conversations with Scott Thuman: Coffee with Klobuchar
WASHINGTON (SBG) – In our efforts to let you hear from and get to know all of the candidates running for the White House, we’ve started a series called “Campaign Conversations.” In them, our Chief Political Correspondent Scott Thuman gets those who are hoping to earn your vote, to open up.
Here now, is the revealing conversation over some coffee and a capitol view, with Senator Amy Klobuchar.
It’s maybe appropriate that we’re meeting Senator Amy Klobuchar on a rooftop. After all, these days, she feels the sky’s the limit.
Thuman: “Some would question, are you peaking right now?”
Klobuchar: “No, no. So peaking are these people that peaked early on. Me, I'm just like this.” (shows her arm at a 45-degree angle pointing upward)
Thuman: “You're on a ramp?”
Klobuchar: “Yeah, because I never maybe had this viral moment except when I announced in the middle of a blizzard.”
And coffee with Klobuchar exposes just how long the journey’s been for her--how the first woman elected to the senate by Minnesota, has never lost a race. Ever.
Thuman: “You've never lost a campaign?”
Klobuchar: “I've never lost a campaign all the way back to elementary school.” “And I was the, I think, Secretary-Treasurer of my high school class.”
Thuman: “You're Madam Secretary-Treasurer, all the way back in”
Klobuchar: “Yeah, exactly. And then I had a slogan, "All the way with Amy K, which I've since abandoned.”
Thuman: “So, it's been a calling? In all seriousness, it's been a bit of a calling, or no?”
Klobuchar: “Not as much as some people.”
Lawyer was her first goal--then prosecutor.
Klobuchar: “The thing that drove me the most to run for office was when our daughter was born, and she couldn't swallow. It was a surprise.” “And she was in intensive care and they kicked me out of the hospital in 24 hours because that's what the insurance rule said at the time. I'd been up all night. We didn't know if she was going to live. And I, literally, was wheeled out of the hospital. And so, after she got a little better, I went to the legislature, not as an elected but as a mom.” “and testified, worked with some legislators, to advocate for one of the first laws in the country, guaranteeing new moms and their babies a 48-hour hospital stay.”
Klobuchar: “And so I got hooked on politics then.”
Thuman: “We're listening to protests over our shoulder. Is this town broken?”
Klobuchar: “No. It just needs a leader who's going to set a different tone and bring some decency back to the White House.”
Thuman: “You mentioned that you can be blunt sometimes and you were criticized in an article for being really tough with your staff.”
Klobuchar: “Look, anyone that's got to take on Donald Trump has to be tough and that is what I have always been. And I think we need someone that's going to stand up for not just herself, but for the country. I love my staff. They're great. And we wouldn't have had the highest record for Democrats in the last Congress for passing bills if I didn't have great staff.”
Thuman: “All right, so let me give you some lightning-round questions. So, I'll ask you super short questions. As a member of Congress, I'm sure you can do super short answers.” (laughter)
Klobuchar: “Oh yeah, especially the Senate. We always say, "Everything's been said, but I haven't said it.” (more laughter)
Thuman: “All right, here we go. Should President Trump be impeached?”
Klobuchar: “I think the impeachment proceedings should begin, and yes.”
Thuman: “Should there be Medicare for all?”
Klobuchar: “I believe there's a better way to do it. And that is with a nonprofit public option.”
Thuman: “Decriminalizing crossing the border?”
Klobuchar: “No, I think the better way to do this, is by changing our laws.” “And that's comprehensive immigration reform.”
Thuman: “Do you support a ban on assault weapons?”
Thuman: “Free college tuition?”
Klobuchar: “No.” “It really, literally, would make other people pay for rich kids to go to college. I don't agree with that.”
Thuman: “Name your favorite Republican to work with?”
Klobuchar: “I really like working with Lisa Murkowski, and Roy Blunt.”
Thuman: “If you were to pick a running mate right now, who would it be?”
Klobuchar: “Now that I'm not going to reveal on this show.”
Also, to be revealed, can she capitalize on that bump in polling after the Ohio debate and if she can keep her election streak alive, amid all those over-achievers?
Thuman: “So we did these interviews with other candidates. We've learned interesting things from them.” “Governor Bullock was wearing boots that were from an alligator he killed. Tom Steyer”
Klobuchar: “Okay. Oh, you think I got that? No. I don't.” (laughter)
Thuman: “Tom Steyer told us he's hiking California's tallest 15 mountains. John Delaney can dead-lift 350 pounds. What do you bring to the table?”
Klobuchar: “I once rode my bicycle against the wind and uphill from Minneapolis to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 1100 miles in 10 days, averaging 110 miles a day. So, I'd like to challenge them to do that.”
Editor's Note: Sinclair is reaching out to all of the candidates and you’ll see more of these ‘Campaign Conversations’ each week. For a link and behind the scenes moments from the interviews, follow Scott on Twitter @ScottThuman