Klobuchar launches bid, would tar­get tax loop­holes, cli­mate.

Min­nesota se­na­tor vows to com­bat cli­mate change, fix tax loop­holes

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY SETH MCLAUGH­LIN

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Min­nesota on Sun­day launched her cam­paign for the 2020 Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion on a Mis­sis­sippi River bank, promis­ing a crowd brav­ing the cold and snow that she will “lead from the heart” and fight to move the coun­try away from “the petty and vi­cious na­ture of our pol­i­tics.”

“To­day on an is­land in the mid­dle of the mighty Mis­sis­sippi, in our na­tion’s heart­land, in a time when we must heal the heart of our democ­racy and re­new our com­mit­ment to the com­mon good, I stand be­fore you — as the grand­daugh­ter of an iron ore miner, as a daugh­ter of a teacher and a news­pa­per man, as the first woman elected to the United States Sen­ate from the state of Min­nesota — to an­nounce my can­di­dacy for pres­i­dent of the United States,” Ms. Klobuchar said from Boom Is­land Park, Min­neapo­lis.

The an­nounce­ment fol­lowed Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren’s of­fi­cial cam­paign kick­off Satur­day in front of an old Lawrence, Mas­sachusetts, brick tex­tile mill that was the site of one of the na­tion’s most his­toric la­bor strikes.

Both back­drops un­der­scored the can­di­dates’ re­spec­tive mes­sages, with Ms. Klobuchar pre­sent­ing her­self as a down-to-earth, left-of-cen­ter, Mid­west­ern prag­ma­tist, and Ms. War­ren pre­sent­ing her­self as a lib­eral war­rior laser-fo­cused on re­shap­ing a po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic sys­tem that she says has been “rigged” by the wealthy and well-con­nected.

“We are tired of the shut­down and the show­downs, of the grid­lock and the grand­stand­ing,” Ms. Klobuchar said Sun­day. “To­day on this snowy day on this is­land we say, ‘Enough is enough!’”

“I don’t have a po­lit­i­cal ma­chine,” Ms. Klobuchar said, her hair caked in snow. “I don’t come from money, but what I do have is this — I have grit.”

The 58-year-old said it is time to get “dark money” out of pol­i­tics, strengthen vot­ing rights, com­bat cli­mate change, and to en­act uni­ver­sal back­ground checks for all gun pur­chases. She called for uni­ver­sal health care, “com­pre­hen­sive im­mi­gra­tion re­form” and closing tax loop­holes that ben­e­fit the rich.

Ms. Klobuchar took jabs at Pres­i­dent Trump, say­ing mem­bers of the mil­i­tary and diplo­mats “de­serve bet­ter than a for­eign pol­icy by tweet” and say­ing it is time to “stop the fear-mon­ger­ing and the stop the hate.”

Mr. Trump promptly threw a ver­bal snow­ball right back at her, chuck­ling via Twit­ter on Sun­day af­ter­noon about how Ms. Klobuchar was “talk­ing proudly of fight­ing global warm­ing while stand­ing in a vir­tual bliz­zard of snow, ice and freez­ing tem­per­a­tures. Bad tim­ing. By the end of her speech she looked like a Snow­man (woman)!”

Ms. War­ren also took aim at Mr. Trump on Satur­day, say­ing he is “a prod­uct of a rigged sys­tem that props up the rich and pow­er­ful and kicks dirt on ev­ery­one else.”

The 69-year-old said it “won’t be enough just to undo the ter­ri­ble acts of this ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

“We can’t af­ford to tinker around the edges with a tax credit here, a reg­u­la­tion there. Our fight is for big struc­tural change.”

Ms. War­ren and Ms. Klobuchar join fel­low fe­male Sens. Ka­mala D. Har­ris of Cal­i­for­nia and Kirsten Gil­li­brand of New York in a field of con­tenders that is ex­pected to con­tinue to grow.

Po­lit­i­cal ob­servers say both women face in­di­vid­ual chal­lenges.

Ms. Klobuchar has been dogged by re­ports about how she has mis­treated her staff and by doubts over whether a cen­trist can res­onate in a pri­mary elec­tion dom­i­nated by lib­eral ac­tivists.

Ms. War­ren, mean­while, has strug­gled to put her past claims of Amer­i­can In­dian an­ces­try be­hind her thanks in part to a re­port in The Washington Post last week that un­earthed a Texas bar ap­pli­ca­tion in which she iden­ti­fied her­self in writ­ing as “Amer­i­can In­dian.”

The Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee wel­comed both can­di­dates into the race by point­ing out their flaws.

“It’s tough to find any base of sup­port for Amy Klobuchar’s can­di­dacy,” said RNC spokesman Michael Ahrens. “She has vir­tu­ally no grass-roots back­ing and even her own staff is com­plain­ing that she’s ‘in­tol­er­a­bly cruel.’”

Mr. Ahrens said Ms. War­ren’s “dis­as­trous han­dling of her false mi­nor­ity claims and her re­fusal to apol­o­gize un­til now has ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing her own sup­port­ers, cring­ing at her cam­paign.”

A Mon­mouth Uni­ver­sity poll re­leased showed Ms. War­ren ranked third in the 2020 Demo­cratic race be­hind a cou­ple of per­spec­tive can­di­dates — for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joseph R. Bi­den and Sen. Bernard San­ders of Ver­mont.

Ms. Klobuchar was run­ning to­ward the back of the pack, with al­most 40 per­cent of re­spon­dents say­ing they have never heard of her.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

“I don’t have a po­lit­i­cal ma­chine,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Min­nesota Demo­crat. “I don’t come from money, but what I do have is this — I have grit.”

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