Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) suggested on Sunday morning that if she had the same level of experience as her primary rival, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, she would not have enough support to even qualify for the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) presidential debates.
“Of women on that [debate] stage — I’m focusing here on my fellow women senators, [Sens.] Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)] and myself — do I think we would be standing on that stage if we had the experience that he had?” Klobuchar asked CNN’s Jake Tapper during an appearance on “State of the Union.” “No, I don’t. Maybe we’re held to a different standard.”
The Minnesota lawmaker’s remarks were in response to two recent polls that show the moderate vote is breaking in favor of Buttigieg. Both Klobuchar and Buttigieg are vying for the moderate lane for the Democratic nomination to the presidency, and they both represent constituents from the midwest, an important demographic going into the 2020 election cycle.
“Of the women on the stage… do I think we would be standing on that stage if we had the experience that [Mayor Pete Buttigieg] had? No, I don’t. Maybe we’re held to a different standard.” – Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Mayor Buttigieg’s qualifications. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/HHvUIK2Z6K
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) November 10, 2019
While Klobuchar put forth that she believes Buttigieg is more qualified to be in the Oval Office than President Donald Trump, she explained to Tapper that her experience in public office makes her significantly more qualified to do the job than the South Bend mayor.
“I’m the one from the midwest that has actually won in a statewide race over and over again including bringing in those voters that just voted in Kentucky — those kind of voters — just voted in Virginia,” Klobuchar said. “Brought them over the edge so that he with had strong leaders that were able to win those elections. Those are the kind of voters I’ve won and that is not true of Mayor Pete. That is just a fact.”
Accordingly, Klobuchar won re-election to her U.S Senate seat in the state of Minnesota for a third time in November 2018. She found an easy path to victory, besting her Republican challenger by more than 20 points. While Trump lost Minnesota by roughly 1.5 percent during the 2016 presidential election, the two politicians seemingly appeal to the same type of voters: middle class voters and blue collar workers.
“I also am someone that has passed multiple bills as a lead Democrat, important bills in Washington, D.C. He’s had a different experience,” Klobuchar said. “We should be able to have those debates about candidates without being accused of being negative.”
The three-term senator enjoyed a surge of attention and fundraising in the wake of her performance in last month’s debate in Ohio. While appearing on the debate stage, Klobuchar clashed with her progressive rivals and publicly criticized their signature policy plan, Medicare for All. She notably attacked Warren for not being forthcoming with the American people and failing to admit that she would likely have to raise taxes on the middle class in order to help fund her sweeping proposal.
In the 24 hours following the debate, Klobuchar’s campaign announced that it had generated $1.1 million in donations, making it her campaign’s best day of online fundraising. The money is a significant haul for Klobuchar, who reported $4.8 million in third quarter donations and just $3.9 million in second quarter donations.
Klobuchar subsequently qualified for the DNC’s fifth primary debate in November.
As of publication, Klobuchar sits at just under 3% support among Democratic primary voters nationwide according to the Real Clear Politics National polling average. She hit 5% support for the first time in late October.