Sen. Amy Klobuchar launches 2020 presidential campaign

Posted on: February 10th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(MINNEAPOLIS, Minn) — Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced her 2020 presidential campaign Sunday afternoon at a rally in her home state of Minnesota.

“I stand before you as the granddaughter of an iron ore miner, the daughter of a teacher and a newspaperman, the first woman elected to the United States Senate from the state of Minnesota, to announce my candidacy for president of the United States,” she told a large crowd as it snowed heavily.

With temperatures hovering just around 16 degrees and snow blanketing the grass of the venue at Boom Island Park in Minneapolis, supporters waved signs and American flags.

Klobuchar laid out an agenda including universal healthcare, a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision, rejoining the international climate agreement, gun legislation and advocating for criminal justice reform.

“I’m running for every parent who wants a better world for their kids,” said Klobuchar. “I’m running for every student who wants a good education. For every senior who wants affordable prescription drugs. For every worker, farmer, dreamer, builder. For every American. I’m running for you.”

She also described her campaign as “homegrown.”

“I don’t have a political machine. I don’t come from money. But what I do have is this: I have grit.”

Two hours ahead of the event, staff began hanging blue signs with “Amy for America” printed in large white letters. A large American flag decorated the stage, its colors standing out amongst the white blizzard fog hiding the city’s skyline.

Klobuchar is expected to deliver a message of unity, vowing to repair a country she claims is fractured, according to excerpts of the senator’s expected remarks given to ABC News.

While that message is consistent across the growing roster of Democratic presidential candidates, Klobuchar stands out as a well-known Midwestern candidate in a state that has traditionally voted blue, but also has seen a decline in Democratic support over the last three presidential elections.

Klobuchar celebrated a reelection victory in 2018, winning over 60 percent of the vote.

But tainting her big announcement on Sunday is a recent report by the Huffington Post claiming three people have withdrawn from consideration to lead Klobuchar’s campaign because of an alleged history of mistreating her staff.

The article cites anonymous sources who describe Klobuchar as “habitually demeaning and prone to bursts of cruelty that make it difficult to work in her office for long.”

In a statement to ABC news, a campaign spokesperson said the senator is very fond of her staff.

“Senator Klobuchar loves her staff — they are the reason she has gotten to where she is today. She has many staff who have been with her for years — including her Chief of Staff and her State Director, who have worked for her for 5 and 7 years respectively, as well as her political advisor Justin Buoen, who has worked for her for 14 years — and many who have gone on to do amazing things, from working in the Obama Administration (over 20 of them) to running for office to even serving as the Agriculture Commissioner for Minnesota. She is proud of them and the work they have done for Minnesota,” a campaign spokesperson said.

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