Klobuchar meets with supporters in WC stop
‘We need to cross the river of our divides to a higher place in our politics’
About 45 local residents gathered early Thursday morning at Mornin’ Glory Coffee Shop for a dose of caffeine and to meet the presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
The Minnesota Democrat made a stop in Webster City as part of a 20-country tour through Iowa, including a visit to the Iowa State Fair.
Kloburchar said she enjoys the small gatherings across the state.
“This is something I did in Minnesota and it’s been a really important part of my work,” she said. “This is how I get ideas.”
Klobuchar said she hadn’t planned a stump speech, but gave an impromptu talk, touching on rural issues, tariffs and gun violence.
The candidate recently announced her ag and rural policy, issues that she believes haven’t received enough attention on the campaign trail.
“I’m a senior member of the agriculture committee in the Senate and I’ve been through three farm bills now. I understand its a combination of farm policy and also rural economic policy,” she said. “There’s a lot we’ve done by there’s so much more we can do.”
The candidate said she was concerned about the effects of the tariff wars on Iowa and other rural states.
“It’s like the president is using our rural communities as poker chips at one of his bankrupt casinos,” she said, adding that the administration should be thinking through how to negotiate “with our allies at our side for better trade policies.”
Klobuchar said she supports biofuels and how that relates to the rural economy.
She said so far, the televised debates have not had any questions relating to rural America or farm policy.
“I keep reaching out to the people who do the debates to tell them that maybe it would be a good idea (to include ag questions),” Klobuchar said.
Recent record flooding in Iowa and Nebraska, wildfires in California, and unusual weather patterns point to a need to develop strong climate change policies, according to the candidate.
“All of this was predicted for years and this president is doing nothing,” the candidate said, “I would get us back into the international climate change agreement and do more when it comes to gas mileage standards and clean power standards.”
The candidate famously announced her bid for the White House in February in Minneapolis during a blizzard. She said the location near the Mississippi River was symbolic especially with respect to last week’s mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
“We need to cross the river of our divides to a higher place in our politics,” she said. “I’m tired of the mean tweets and all of the negativity toward immigrants, people of color and the hate crimes.”
Klobuchar worked her way around the room to greet those in attendance, pausing for dozens of photos.
Cathy Dingman of Webster City said she was impressed with what the candidate had to say.
“She’s an excellent speaker and she’s hilarious,” Dingman said. “I think that resonates with a lot of people here.”
Dingman said she’s still looking at field of Demcratic hopefuls and wasn’t ready to commit to any candidate.
“I think she’s an excellent candidate,” said Ron Birkestrand, who attended with his wife Kathy. “I think she’s more center of the road. All the things the other candidates are promising, they forget they have to get it through Congress. Some of that stuff’s not going to go.”
The Birkestrands said immigration and climate change top the list of their concerns in the upcoming election.
Loween Getter, Webster City, said she would definitely vote for a female candidate and was impressed with Klobuchar.
“I think she’s believable when she says she’s going to have integrity,” Getter said. “That’s what we need right now.”