MILWAUKEE — U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar pledged during a Fox News town hall to not leave the Midwest behind as she pursues the Democratic presidential nomination and the White House.
“I do think as we look in the last few years at some of the national campaigns that the Midwest got forgotten,” the Minnesota Democrat told the audience assembled at the Grain Exchange in the city’s downtown area.
She recounted how her husband’s parents would have their six kids count off before leaving roadside stops while on vacation so no one got left behind.
“We are not going to leave, with me in the lead, we’re not leaving the Midwest behind at the gas station,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar said it’s important to run on a positive economic agenda and issues that matter to people.
“And if you think that doesn’t work in Wisconsin, I have four words for you: former Gov. Scott Walker,” Klobuchar said. “Because that is what your new governor did. That is what Tammy Baldwin has done, your great senator. Running on things that matter to the people of Wisconsin.”
At several points during the event, she referenced Wisconsin institutions like Harley-Davidson and issues impacting the state.
Fielding a question about the nation’s positive economic trajectory, she said the stage was set years before President Trump was elected, instead crediting workers and businesses for pulling the nation out of the Great Recession.
“All this didn’t happen when Trump got elected,” she said. “It happened, because of some incredible businesses, including ones that we have right in Wisconsin like Harley- Davidson. A homegrown Wisconsin product.”
The Republican National Committee spokeswoman Mandi Merritt said the Minnesota native was trying to “fool Midwestern voters into thinking she’s ‘one of them’” because her positions better align with “coastal elites.”
“On the job-killing Green New Deal, on attacking President Trump’s historic economic agenda, and on obstructing’s President Trump’s pursuit of progress, Klobuchar is nothing but a rubber stamp for the radical left,” Merritt said.
While discussing her plan to improve addiction and mental health treatment, she pointed to the loss of some 1,400 dairy farms in Wisconsin and an increase in farmers committing suicide.
Asked about concern among some Democrats about nominating a woman after Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss, Klobuchar replied, “I think may the best woman win.”
She pointed to women around the country being elected to office in recent years, including Baldwin.
“Women won all kinds of elections,” she said. “I also think you discount them at your own peril if you’re a Democratic voter, because we have some really outstanding women running.”
During the hour-long town hall, Klobuchar fielded questions from the hosts and audience members and touched on topics such as health care, education, the economy, sexism and sexual harassment, and the nation’s conflict with Iran.