March 18, 2019 10:40 AM
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is making her first campaign stops this weekend in her bid to become the Democratic presidential nominee.
She kicked off a weekend of events in Eau Claire, Wisconsin at SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Bar Saturday morning. Hundreds of supporters greeted the Democrat as she walked in.
Speaking to the crowd, Klobuchar emphasized her Wisconsin roots, the state where her mother was born.
She outlined half a dozen "challenges" she said she will tackle, including bridging the urban-rural divide. She pledged to expand broadband access and lower prescription drug prices.
“We aren't where we need to be when it comes to healthcare,” she said. “We must bring those premiums down but we're also not where we need to be when it comes to one thing that all of Washington has sat on the sidelines and let get worse and worse and that is the cost of prescription drugs.”
She also denounced President Trump's national emergency declaration to fund a border wall and criticized his stance on climate change.
Just a week into her campaign, Klobuchar has raised a million dollars in online donations.
The DNC has announced qualifications for the first two Democratic debates this summer; candidates must collect donations from at least 65,000 individuals with at least 200 unique donors in at least 20 states, or reach one percent support in at least three national or state polls.
“It sounds like Amy [Klobuchar] will make it into their debates early on and I think that's good for her and it's going to be good for the nation,” said Annette Meeks, with the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota.
Klobuchar is now one of at least 10 Democratic candidates vying for a nomination.
“It's going to make an interesting contest and quite frankly force people to focus on the 2020 race a little earlier than they might have,” said Meeks.
“I think [Sen. Klobuchar] is going to be someone to contend with,” said Ember Reichgott Junge, a former DFL State Senator. “She's now got to move from the second tier into the first tier, she needs to do that.”
Klobuchar has two more events scheduled on Sunday in Iowa. She will travel to New Hampshire next, for an event on Monday, ahead of a CNN Town Hall on Monday night.
“She is going to have a challenge getting through the Democratic primaries but do not underestimate Amy Klobuchar, she knows what she's doing,” said Reichgott Junge.
Updated: March 18, 2019 10:40 AM
Created: February 16, 2019 06:20 PM
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