Amy Klobuchar: My ideas are 'grounded in reality'

Karen Bouffard
The Detroit News

Detroit — Amy Klobuchar said she has a better chance of winning the presidency with her proposal for a public health plan option than with her U.S. Senate colleague Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All plan. 

"Clearly, this is the easiest way to move forward quickly, and I want to get things done," she said during Tuesday's Democratic debate in Detroit. "People can't wait."

The Minnesota senator said she can win the presidency, touting her record of winning U.S. Senate districts that were taken by Trump in the 2016 presidential election. 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks Tuesday night during the first of two Democratic presidential primary debates in Detroit.

"Let's get real. Tonight we debate, but ultimately, we have to beat Donald Trump," she said in her opening remarks. 

"You're going to hear a lot of promises up here, but I'm going to tell you this. Yes, I have bold ideas, but they are grounded in reality. And, yes, I will make some simple promises. I can win this. I'm from the Midwest," Klobuchar added. 

"And I have won every race, every place, every time. And I will govern with integrity, the integrity worthy of the extraordinary people of this nation." 

Klobuchar's pragmatic approach sets her apart from more left-leaning front-runners like Sanders and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Tuesday was Kobuchar's third stop in Michigan after visits to Detroit on May 3, and again on July 24 for NAACP national convention. 

In Detroit on Tuesday, Klobuchar noted her working-class roots as the granddaughter of a coal miner and daughter of a teacher and labor activist mother.  Her father was a sports writer and columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

"We come from a country of shared dreams," she said. "I have had it with a president that says one thing on TV ... and then you get home and you see those charges for prescription drugs and cable and college." 

Klobuchar worked as an intern for then-Vice President and former Minnesota U.S. Senator Walter Mondale while earning a political science degree at Yale. She graduated from University of Chicago Law School in 1985.

She practiced corporate law before her election to Hennepin County attorney in 1998, and re-election in 2002. She was the state's first female U.S. senator when elected in 2006. 

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Twitter: @kbouffardDN