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tv   Amy Klobuchar CNN Town Hall  CNN  February 18, 2019 7:00pm-8:01pm PST

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are calling too far to the left, the republicans call too far to the left, actually are things that have support of a lot of americans. so, you know, i think we'll just have to see what voters want. >> all right. brian fallon, kirsten powers, symone sanders, thanks very much. the cnn town hall with amy klobuchar, moderated by don lemon, starts now. [ applause ] wow. good evening, everyone, from manchester, new hampshire. the first presidential primary state. and welcome to a cnn democratic presidential town hall with senator amy klobuchar. i'm don lemon. we're so glad that you could join us this evening. we are here at st. anselm college less than one year from the new hampshire primary. it is presidents' day, and across the country democratic candidates are competing for the chance to defeat president
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trump. minnesota senator amy klobuchar is pitching herself as the best candidate to win back states that went for trump in 2016. and tonight senator klobuchar will take questions from voters who say they plan to vote in the new hampshire democratic primary. so please welcome, without further ado, everyone, senator amy klobuchar. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you. thanks, don. >> hi, senator. how are you? >> great to be here. >> good to see you. have a seat. >> thanks, everybody. thank you. thank you. >> it is presidents' day. >> happy presidents' day. >> that has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? >> oh, it certainly does. >> you like the sound of that? >> it's great to be in new hampshire, where i appear to have brought my permanent snow globe with me. it was snowing yesterday in iowa where i was and today in new hampshire. it just won't leave. >> you're the only one we saw out there, people commenting, without a coat. you're used to this. it means nothing coming from
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your state. it's good to have you. i want to start with one of the questions that is really the most asked questions here, and that is what separates you from the pack, from the democratic candidates. and one version of that question comes from nila brownstein, sitting right there. she is from london dairy. nila, what's your question? substitute teacher, by the way. >> i'm a moderate democrat with progressive leanings, who believes in the american message of hope and opportunity for all. i am looking for a democratic candidate who can make donald trump a one-term president and doesn't sacrifice a moderate vision to the leftist ideologies of outspoken progressives. i want to hear achievable goals that benefit minorities and the middle class now and are not pipe dreams for the future. are you my candidate? >> yes, i am. [ cheers and applause ] so first of all, thank you, neila. my mom taught second grade until she was 70 years old, so yours
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is a true calling. and i am someone that comes from the heartland. a north country state a little similar to new hampshire, but someone that has always believed that we have to govern from opportunity and not from the chaos that we're seeing right now in the white house. i've done that my whole life. i ran the biggest public law office in the state of minnesota, got to the u.s. senate, and i've worked very hard to stand my ground on really important issues whether it be things like doing something about climate change and our environment or making sure that we are progressive in how we handle our economy and stand up and have people's backs. but i also am someone that looks for common ground. in fact, in the last two years, 34 of the bills where i was the lead democrat got signed into law. i don't think president trump noticed it, but that happened. [ applause ] and i think what we need right now in this country is less of
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this grandstanding and gridlock, less of the shutdowns, which we just saw, and the putdowns, and much more of moving our country forward. i announced my candidacy in front of the mississippi river for a reason last weekend. i didn't think it was going to be 17 degrees with a bunch of snow, but it was. and i did that because i wanted to make the point that we need to cross a river of our divides. we need to walk over the sturdy bridge that is our democracy, and that we need to get to higher ground in our politics. [ applause ] >> senator, i want to get into some of the issues that are defining this race already. >> okay. >> some of the major issues, right? pam clark is here. pam, you will relate to this as a retired schoolteacher, as your mom was a teacher. there she is. pam wharks pam, what do you have? >> why can't we have medicare for all?
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i'm sorry. why can't we have medicare for all? i have heard all the excuses why we can't have it in our country while all the other industrialized countries have it, and it seems to work. what makes us the exception? >> what has made us the exception -- and thanks for that question because what's been going on in this country is just wrong. you've got people that still can't afford their health care. you have people that can't afford their prescription drugs. and that's why i believe we have to get to universal health care in this country. [ applause ] and we have to make sure that we build on the work of the affordable care act, which by the way was a major improvement. as you all know, people were getting kicked off their insurance for pre-existing conditions. i remember just last summer, a little kid in a parade in a small town with his mom, and she points at her little boy who has down syndrome, and she said, this is a pre-existing condition. this is what a pre-existing
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condition looks like. and we fought that, and we won, and we protected the affordable care act. but to me, it's a beginning and not an end. so what we need is to expand coverage so that people can have a choice for a public option, and that's a start. all right? and you can do it with medicare. you could do it many ways, but you could also do it with medicaid. something i don't think we're talking about enough as a potential solution. this is a bill that i am an original co-sponsor of. senator sanders is also sponsoring it. it's a bill by brian schatz who is a senator from the state of hawaii, and it basically says let's expand medicaid so you can buy into medicaid, and it will bring the prices down and we can cover more people. the other part of the equation is doing something about prescription drugs. they are nearly 20% of our health care costs now when you include hospital prescription drugs. and i brought to the state of the union a woman named nicole
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smith-holt, whose son started rationing his insulin, because i wanted president trump to know about this story. rationing his insulin when he's general manager at a restaurant, and he did it wrong, and he died. that shouldn't happen in the united states of america, but it did. and that's why i believe we need to push those drug companies. they think they own washington. they don't own me. i have one of the original bills to push to have medicare negotiate prices, lift the ban, bring in less expensive drugs from canada. we're in new hampshire. we can almost see canada from our porch, and other safe countries, and stop the practice where pharma pays off generics to keep their products off the market. this shouldn't be happening. >> if i could just jump in, which is more to her question which was about medicare for all, what's your reservation about supporting medicare for all? >> i think it's something we can look to for the future, but i want to get action. i think the best way we do that is something that we actually wanted to do back when we were
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looking at the affordable care act and we were stopped, was trying to get a public option in there. and that is a way, if you all remember that debate, that is a way to provide a public alternative that's real, even beyond the exchanges, so that we can bring down the rates. and then we can look at other options, but we have to start somewhere. and i think we can do that much more immediately. >> so medicare for all? >> it could be a possibility in the future. i'm just looking at something that will work now. >> okay. bryce stack is here. he is a college student from merrimac. bryce? >> hi. thank you. senator klobuchar, just about every democratic candidate for president accepts the reality of climate change, including yourself. however, when you were asked about the green new deal, you were quoted as saying it is an aspiration while declining to name your own specific policy proposals. would climate justice be a priority in a klobuchar administration, and which specific policies would you put forward? >> very good question. i think you all know that this
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last year was the fourth hottest year in american history. and the green new deal is so important right now for our country. we may not have agreements on exactly how it will work and when we can get it done. and my point that i made there was that this was a discussion we must have as a country. for too long we've just been admiring the problem. we've been saying, oh, it's happening. and most of the members of the senate did admit that it's happening, but what are you going to do about it? so i will, the first day as the president, sign us back into the international climate change agreement. that is on day one. [ applause ] i will also, in the first 100 days, bring back the clean power rules that the obama administration was ready to put in place, and the trump administration left on the cutting room floor. i will also bring back the gas mileage standards and then propose sweeping legislation to upgrade our infrastructure.
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anyone that watched that video of that dad driving his child through the lapping wildfires in northern california will know that this isn't just something that's theoretical that's happening in the future. it's happening right now. and one argument that we need to make for those of us that believe in science, we need to make the argument that this is isn't economics on one side and the environment on the other side, right? because if you just let climate change keep going, you already see it in homeowners insurance rates. gone up 50% in ten years, right? well, that is just going to get worse if we don't start addressing climate change because the market is going to start seeing what's happening here. it already is, and it's going to get us in economic trouble. so in addition to all the new green jobs it will create, we have to do this for our economy, but we have to do it right, which is why i answered the question that way and make sure that we have a transition. >> so it's urgent to you, right?
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>> it is an urgent cause. >> let's get into some specifics. the green new deal, some of which includes a complete shift in renewable and zero emission energy sources, overhauling the nation's transportation systems to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and to set a goal for carbon neutrality by 2030. do you believe those goals are achievable? >> i think that they are aspirations. i think we can get close. i don't think we are going to get rid of industries in the u.s. >> what do you mean by aspirations? >> aspirations to me means we have been doing nothing about this. if we have some new people coming along, particularly in this school where we have so many students and young people, we need to get this debate going. and this is put out there as an aspiration and that something we need to move towards. do i think we can cross every "t" and dot every "i" in ten years? actually, i think that would be very difficult to do. but if we don't get started and we don't start with renewable electricity standards, something that i've been a proponent of
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for a long time, we have tried so many things, and they're just stuck in their tracks. i think this discussion, good or bad, not everyone's going to agree on how we get there. it's very important to have, and you do that by launching big, by big ideas. and the actual legislation you do, we know there's going to be compromises. it's not going to be exactly like that, and we know we're going to have to look out for different areas of the country and how we proceed and be smart about it for the middle class and for people that are more vulnerable. we want to make this work for everyone. but we have to start the debate. >> okay. thank you. [ applause ] >> bob jelati is an assistant professor who teaches business management here. bob, go ahead. >> recently there have been a few articles written that you may be a difficult person to work for. reflecting on your own leadership management style and your past interactions of your staff, is there an aspect of your leadership or communications style that you would like to improve upon moving forward? >> okay. thanks for that question. first of all, you have to know i
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love my staff. a number of them from the campaign are here right now. i've had the same people have work theed for me for years. my chief of staff has worked for me for six years, my campaign manager for 14 years. you need to know that that's my management. the other thing about me is that i've had a long career of managing people going back to the private sector since you're in business management. i was in the private sector for 14 years. i managed teams there, was a partner at two law firms, then moved to the public sector where i managed the biggest public law firm, the county attorney's office in minnesota. there i managed hundreds of lawyers, hundreds of prosecutors. not an easy task. they did tremendous work. we had very low turnover, and we got incredible results. i then became a senator. again, proud of the work that we've done. am i a tough boss sometimes? yes. have i pushed people too hard?
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yes. but i have kept expectations for myself that are very high. i've asked my staff to meet those same expectations, and that -- the big point for me is i want the country to meet high expectations because we don't have that going now. [ applause ] one other point is i hope as we go along this campaign trail, and you in business understand undertaking a presidential campaign, that's a pretty good way to judge people and how they manage something. but i hope that you'll be able to hear and meet some of the people that i'm so proud of, my constituent servicesdirector, clara haycroft, been there for a decade. she's the one that takes those incoming calls from people who are in fear of being deported or meets the babies when they come from other countries to the open arms of their families. or the first somali elected to the minneapolis school board, or
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the people that have done our work in agriculture. that's how we passed so many bills, because of the fine work of our staff. so thank you for the question. >> let's turn now to sonia prince, senator, a mother of three from nashua. sonia? >> hi, senator. knowing the misogynist history of our country and the previous smear attacks against women candidates, what is your plan to break through the systematic, anti-feminist comments or attacks when the bar has been set so high for women and set so very low for male candidates? >> that is called -- >> good question, huh? >> okay. that is called a loaded question. so the way i look at this is that first of all, in 2018, you saw this incredible number of women that got elected to office. and could i just mention, thank
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you, new hampshire. you are the first state in the country that sent a woman to the senate who had also served as governor in the history of the country. [ applause ] and that is -- that is my friend jeanne shaheen. then that wasn't enough. you sent a second one in maggie hassan. so i think you know what it means to have true women leaders. my view is this. the world is changing. as you see more and more women running, not just for federal office or for president, but also for local offices and all over the country you see this happening. someone once said -- and i agree with part of this but not all of it -- that women candidates should speak softly and carry a big statistic. okay. so i think you know i don't always speak softly. that's been established. but i think what you find in a lot of these women is they've had to prove themselves in different ways. they have to carry a big statistic, which means be accountable and show what
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they're doing. in a number of my jobs that i've had, i've set out goals, and then i've met those goals. and i remember looking at what janet napolitano was doing in arizona when i was first getting into my work in public service, or kathleen sebelius in kansas. what they did was put out goals and show how they met them. i think we need a little more of that in the white house right now. [ applause ] >> very good. so president trump, as you know, declared a national emergency on friday to get funding for his border wall without the support of congress. and nick pangera has a question about that. go ahead. >> good evening, senator. welcome to new hampshire. >> thanks, nick. >> i wanted to talk about the national emergency that trump declared on friday as was said. no doubt it's going to wind up in front of the supreme court. can you talk a little bit about what the impacts on future administrations may be if the president does prevail in front of the court? and can you also include in that
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some discussion on what a president klobuchar might do should the president prevail and you have those powers? >> okay. thank you very much. first of all, i believe this is unconstitutional, what he is doing. okay? it is wrong [ applause ] we reached an agreement in the congress. it was hard fought between democrats and republicans on how to deal with him not bringing us into another shutdown. and you know what happened. longest shutdown in the history of america. 800,000 people out of work, not being able to go in their jobs, shut out or, worse yet, showing up for their jobs because they had to and not getting paid. you heard those stories. he was willing to put the country in that kind of chaos. so people reached an agreement, basically gave the same amount of money for a mix of border security just as we did last year. it's a very similar thing. but what he did then, that wasn't enough because i guess he had made this campaign promise and everyone started chanting
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with him. he then goes to this emergency declaration. well, last time i checked, emergencies are things like the wildfires in colorado. they're things like hurricane sandy. they're things like what we just saw happen in florida. so this is unprecedented for him to declare something like that an emergency. the other piece of it, which gets to the balance of powers and what should be going on here, is that he's going to be, he says, paying for it from other parts of the budget. for instance, from our troops and from their housing and things like that. i think we should be standing up for our troops and not taking that money away for his wall. [ applause ] >> senator, what about your presidential powers if you get it? >> well, i would exercise those powers very carefully. i think you have to be very careful about how you do that. but you have emergencies that come up in this country all the time. you know that. and you have to be able to
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respond, to respond quickly, but to respond thoughtfully. and i believe in respecting the constitution of the united states of america [ applause ] >> all right. one down. one down. we're going to be right back with the cnn's democratic presidential town hall with senator amy klobuchar, so make sure you stay with us. >> thank you, don. ♪ ♪ this simple banana peel represents a bold idea: a way to create energy from household trash. it not only saves about 80% in carbon emissions... it helps reduce landfill waste. that's why bp is partnering with a california company: fulcrum bioenergy. to turn garbage into jet fuel. because we can't let any good ideas go to waste. at bp, we see possibilities everywhere.
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[ applause ] welcome back, everyone, to cnn's democratic presidential town hall with senator amy klobuchar. senator, i want to talk about an issue that's very personal to you that you discussed and that you wrote about in your memoir. to help us do that, i'm going to bring in kathleen o'donnell, a family lawyer from keene. kathleen? >> senator klobuchar, during the kavanaugh hearing, you referenced being the daughter of an alcoholic. can you elaborate on how your family history affects -- given this issue as some families experience? sorry about that. >> don't worry.
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it's not an easy question to ask, so thank you very much. for me, like a lot of people, i grew up in a family with alcoholism and addiction. and my story actually is one my dad has told himself. so when that hearing happened, some people said to me, are you telling a story? and it's something that he has been public about. and he struggled with alcoholism my whole life growing up. he had a number of drunk driving incidences, and back then they didn't really take them that seriously, so he kind of just kept drinking. so i had a lot of times in my life where i was taking the keys away or saw him drinking down in the basement, and it was a hard thing. so when that happened at the kavanaugh hearing, i wanted to make very clear that i knew it was like to live in a household with drinking, but that i also knew what it was like to see someone find redemption because eventually after his third dwi, the laws had changed.
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and that's why as a prosecutor, i really worked on felony dui and some of these drunk driving issues because sometimes it's tough love to get people to where they want to go. and that's what happened with my dad because at that point, he was facing jail time, and he had to go to treatment. and minnesota's got a lot of good treatment that i want to bring out to the entire country so that everyone has this kind of treatment [ applause ] and in his own words, he was pursued by grace. and he continues to go to aa and is still friends with his aa group at age 90. true story. and so i was literally able to see him climb to the highest mountains. he's an adventurer, and really sink to the lowest valleys because of his alcoholism. so when that happened in the kavanaugh hearing, i just wanted to get the truth from the nominee. but i also wanted to make it clear that this isn't just all fun and games about addiction.
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whether it's opioids like what you've seen in new hampshire, where you have one of the highest rates of deaths from opioids, whether it is alcoholism, that we need to make sure we are there for people, that we have treatment, that in the criminal justice system, we're humane, that we use drug courts because once people get good treatment, they can get through anything. so thank you. [ applause ] >> senator, we're going to get to opioids in a minute because i know that's very important to you but can we stay on this subject because i think it's a subject that touches a lot of people. in your book, you write about experiencing your dad. you were on your way back from a football game, stories like this. you mentioned a number of stories. you were 12 years old, and he took you to a bar. you were sitting at the bar drinking a 7-up. he was upstairs drinking with the owner. on the way home, he was swerving, drove into a ditch and then, you know, luckily you both survived, and he was okay. but these experiences, how did
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they shape the person that you are today? >> well, i've always believed that the obstacles aren't just obstacles. they're your path. for me, we got through that. he and i did. we're very close. we've bicycled all over the country together, and we got through that. and he is a dad that i love more than ever. and what that told me was that i want to have other people be able to have that kind of redemption in their lives. so when i got to that prosecutor job, i realized that there were people that weren't getting treatment or that we were just saying, oh, let's forget about it. maybe we'll just treat this as a misdemeanor, not ever try to get them help in drug court, not do anything. that's not really helping them, and that's not helping their families. so that gave me this driving belief that if you handle things right, you can give a better life to people. then that continued into the senate with my work where i lead a lot of the efforts on funding.
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we finally have federal drug courts. the first step act that we just passed, i was one of the sponsors for that, and there was such good work on that bill by so many people on both sides of the aisle. finally we said, you know what? maybe we can look at some of these long drug sentences, non-violent drug sentences, and give people a break and save money in the process, right? and we need to look at all of our sentencing like that. my job as prosecutor was, yes, to convict the guilty. but also to protect the innocent. >> all right. i know addiction is a big issue for you but i want to talk about the opioid crisis going on across the country. new hampshire is at the top of the list when it comes to this crisis. can i just ask you if you're in the audience, if you've had anyone, a family member, a friend, or yourself who have had a connection or been affected by the opioid crisis? can you raise your hands? >> wow. unbelievable. >> you see those hands? >> yeah. >> yeah. it's interesting. i want to get a question. let's bring her in.
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i'll let you answer her question. this is jodie noel. jodie lost her fiance to opioids. i'm sorry for your loss. what's your question? >> as a single mother, widowed a decade ago by the opiate crisis, i'm extremely vigilant in regards to our national drug policy. trump promised to address this, but i feel he let us down in the end. my question to you is if you are elected president, what would you actually do to combat this epidemic? >> okay. thank you, jodi. and i am so sorry, and i am just honored that you would come today and take that grief and speak out to the nation because that's what we have to do to keep making the case. [ applause ] we can use all of the numbers and statistics that we want, but it's your face and your story that's going to make the difference. so here's what i think that we need to do. the first is to change the
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prescribing habits across the country, right? we know that a lot of people get addicted innocently. they go into the emergency room. they go to a dentist. and we're starting to see that happen, which is a good thing. you've seen governors across the country, democrats and republicans, make moves. i think we even need to do more federally. there have been guidelines changes, but i think we have to make it very clear so we have less prescriptions, less addictions. that's a start. the second thing is once we do that and it's already starting to happen, you're going to see illegal drugs coming in, very seriously dangerous drugs like fentanyl, what you've seen come in. so that's going to take everything from the bill that senator rob portman and i passed to do something more with our postal service. they're actually allowing these things to come in unfettered, and to make sure, working with our law enforcement, that we cut down on that. you know, prince died in minnesota from opioids and his addiction, and that's something
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we still can't get over in our state. but we also know it's not just famous people. it is people like your story. it is people, our champion swimmer, one of our champion swimmers in minnesota went in with a disease, got hooked, turned to heroin and died. so the illegal drugs is a piece of it too. the third part of it is what i just talked about, and that is treating addiction. there is just not enough funding going into addiction. i see it as a money saver in the long haul because so many times when people get hooked, they under up breaking into things, committing crimes. i saw this in my job. so how do you pay for it? well, i got a good first start, and that is why don't we pay for it by getting money from the very drug companies that got people addicted in the first place? it makes no sense to me at all. [ applause ] so you see that happening right now, and that is where i would like to see the president -- and when i'm the president, i'll do it. but i would like to see the president firmly behind this.
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you see it going on with lawsuits around the country. but we have a bill right now, the lifeboat act. chief sponsor is senator manchin from west virginia, another state that's been strongly hit, where we simply put a fee on those companies selling the opioids to help pay for treatment. so i'd like to see the trump administration get behind that. [ applause ] >> so, senator, griffin sinclair wingate is from dover, and he works at a nonprofit. >> what's your first name? >> my name's griffin. thank you so much for taking my question, senator. so i graduated from college in 2017, and i currently pay roughly the equivalent of my rent in student loans every month. and, you know, i have friends that graduated six figures in debt. here in new hampshire, students graduate on average with the highest average student loan debt in -- >> $36,000, something like that. >> it's absurd. so i'd like to ask you, would you be willing to stand with my generation and end the student
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debt crisis by supporting free college for all? and would you include undocumented and formerly incarcerated people in that program? >> okay. >> and if you could please just preface your answer with a clear yes or no, i would really appreciate that. thank you so much. >> all right. okay. let me answer you first of all. i think we have to do everything to help our students afford college. my idea is to make it easier to refinance, to start with two-year degrees, the community colleges being free. that's something that president obama was pushing. there's a reason i'll get to why i'm starting there instead of four-year. so i want to answer that question first for you and let you know that i also had student loans. and when i married my husband, he had tens of thousands in student loans to make you feel better, but i married him anyway. all right? so here's what we need to do. the first thing is we need to make it easier to afford college, and you need to do that by making it easier to refinance these loans, by extending pell
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grants so it includes more students. those are simply grants, right? so if you extend those pell grants, that's going to make it even easier because right now it's for a limited number of students. i think we should expand it to more students. i think that we should do as much as we can with some of the other populations that you referred to. we've got to make it easier for people getting out of prison to afford going to school. you name it. but the other thing i want to talk about here is something i know we're in a four-year degree school, a great school. but you also have in manchester a two-year community college. there's a lot of kids right now who are off the grid, right? they don't graduate from high school around the country, or they end up maybe barely graduating from high school. they accumulate debt in a four-year college. then they end up not being able to either finish that college, or they end up not being able to get a job that pays for it. so right now there are a big number of jobs that require
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certifications, two-year degrees, everything from welding to technology to robotics, something big here in new hampshire. i know mr. cayman with the segway educated our whole country on robotics, and they require various degrees. one of the things i want to do is really have a big discussion in our country about what we do about kids that aren't graduating from high school. kids that don't get to the point of being at this great college, right? and how we get them into the certifications, the two-year degrees, and make sure we're paying for that because our economy needs that, and then go from there. so thank you for your question. >> so he did ask you yes or no. would you support free college for all? >> i am not for free four-year college for all, no. thank you. [ applause ] >> so let me ask you this because -- >> and i wish -- if i was a magic genie and could give that to everyone and we could afford it, i would. i'm just trying to find a mix of
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incentives and make sure kids that are in need -- that's why i talked about expanding pell grants -- can go to college and be able to afford it and make sure that people that can't afford it are able to pay. >> we're on a college campus so -- >> i know that, but i've got to tell the truth. we have this mounting -- [ applause ] we have a mounting debt that the trump administration keeps getting worse and worse. i also don't want to leave that on the shoulders of all these kids. we've got to do a balance. some of it is major tax reform in terms of reversing some of the things this administration has done. some of it making sure that students are getting degrees and being led to jobs where we actually have jobs. >> yeah. okay. i was saying we're on a campus. 1.5 trillion collectively we hold -- >> that's a lot. that's why the refinancing. i figure if billionaires can refinance their yachts, students should be able to refinance
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their loans, so -- [ applause ] >> deborah butler is an accountant from concord. what's your question? >> senator, if you were in a debate with president trump and you could ask him one question, what would you ask? >> hmm. i think my question would be does he pledge to obey the law because to me, that has been one of the biggest problems with this president is that he keeps undermining the law in this country. he keeps undermining his own attorney general, the former attorney general. he keeps undermining the mueller investigation, which is a major investigation focused on a foreign country trying to intervene in our election. and that, to me, while there are so many things i would love to ask him -- and i'm sure we'd love to ask him a number of things about what he's done and why he's done them and why he isn't consistent in his foreign policy. i think this fundamental
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question and pushing him on his view of the law is important because what i see, i don't like. a few years ago, i got to go and do the democratic dinner in atlanta, georgia. and when i was there, i went to the carter museum, the presidential library for jimmy carter. and i was the only minnesota geek there that started to look for all the mondale's stuff. i was like, where's joan's dress from the inauguration? in any case, i looked on the walls. i looked for this mondale stuff there was this quote from walter monda mondale. it was looking back after they lost the election, and the quote said, we obeyed the law. we told the truth. we kept the peace. we obeyed the law. we told the truth. we kept the peace. and i think that is the minimum that we should expect from a president, and that is what i pledge to do for you.
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thank you. [ applause ] >> cnn's democratic presidential town hall with senator amy klobuchar will be right back. at&t provides edge-to-edge intelligence, covering virtually every part of your manufacturing business. & so this won't happen. because you've made sure this sensor and this machine are integrated. & she can talk to him, & yes... atta, boy. some people assign genders to machines. and you can be sure you won't have any problems. except for the daily theft of your danish. not cool! at&t provides edge to edge intelligence. it can do so much for your business, the list goes on and on. that's the power of &. & this shipment will be delivered... with expedia, i saved when i added a hotel to our flight. so even when she grows up, she'll never outgrow the memory of our adventure. unlock savings when you add select hotels to your existing trip. only with expedia.
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welcome back, everyone, to cnn's democratic presidential town hall with senator amy klobuchar. so let's get right into the questioning again. john burrows is a health care consultant from glen. john? >> hi, john. >> thank you, senator. currently our national immigration policy is focusing on a false message of border security. how would you address the root cause of the problem, which is that unskilled americans are afraid of skilled immigrants taking their high-paying jobs away from them? >> okay. i would probably describe it in a different way, and i'll start with that. first of all, i think that president trump has tried to distract us and focus on just one part of this issue, and
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that's an issue you want to make sure you have border security. to me, this is an economic issue for our country, and we have always been a country that is built by immigrants, right? we all have our stories in america. and i believe that immigrants don't diminish america, that they are america. [ applause ] that means to me that we need to have comprehensive immigration reform, something i've long supported. and i view this, first of all, if you look around our country, something like around 70 of our fortune 500 ceos -- this is a few years back -- were immigrants. 25% of our u.s. nobel laureates were born in other countries, right? that's a pretty amazing thing. we have immigrants that have built this country, and so comprehensive immigration reform is a mix of things. it was security money, but it was also about a path to citizenship. and we passed that in the senate
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on a bipartisan basis, and then it got stuck in paul ryan's freezer somewhere next to the frozen peas. i don't know. it just got stuck there. so we need to bring this back and start talking about it in this way because right now, all we're hearing when it comes to immigration is hate-filled rhetoric. and i'm sure you've heard some of it in new hampshire. we've certainly seen it nationally. i'll end with this one story of a family in minnesota, a somali-american family who went out to dinner with their two little kids. and they're out to dinner, and this guy walks by. and he looks at them and says, you four go home. you go home to where you came from. and the little girl looks up at her mom, and she says, mom, i don't want to go home to eat. you said we should eat dinner out tonight. you think of the words of that innocent child. she only knows one home, and that's my state. that's probably your state. that's the united states of america, and we need to get
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back, cross the river of our divides, and get to that place again. [ applause ] >> william hatch is here, and he is from the new hampshire state legislature. >> yes. thank you, senator. thank you for taking my question, and welcome to new hampshire. >> thank you. >> do you think the current -- >> a very active state legislature. >> you fit well, yes. >> you have a lot of people in it. i know that. >> we have a good time, though. >> yes. >> senator, do you think our current administration's relationship with our allies has been damaged? if so, with whom and how? also what do you consider the most important and urgent foreign affair issues, and what's your plan to address them? thank you. >> thank you. it has certainly been damaged. you think of the work of diplomacy and all of that work that president obama did and secretary clinton, secretary kerry. that's reaching out to our allies, and i believe that we
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must stand tall as a beacon of democracy. but i also believe that we must stand with our allies. so that's my number one problem. secondly, we have to invest in diplomacy. i remember it was secretary mattis who unfortunately left the trump administration after the president basically made that decision on removing the troops from syria without even notifying our allies, without notifying his own people. well, secretary mattis once said that if you don't invest in foreign aid and you don't invest in diplomacy, then he just has to buy more bullets, right? and so we've got to look at it as just not one side or the other but how we deal with the world as a whole. the other thing i'd mention is just modernizing our military. i took on the issue of protecting our elections from after what we saw happen in the last election with russia. and i would actually put this right up there.
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when i talk to our military, a lot of -- in addition to, of course, the middle east and making sure that iran -- and i disagreed with the decision about getting out of that nuclear agreement. i think that would have been an example of standing with our allies in europe and pushing iran to make sure that they never have a nuclear weapon. well, when you look at the other issue, it is cyber, and that is the next arena for warfare. we're already seeing it right now. just to give you an example, the bill that i had to upgrade our election equipment cost literally, bipartisan bill, 3% of one aircraft carrier. so working with our allies, investing in diplomacy, modernizing our military, and then finally taking on those big challenges that are in front of us. and i would list them as what i already mentioned, the mideast, the challenge that we have with climate change, which is driving so many issues. it is not just out there on its own.
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it's driving migration from places in africa and refugees because of the change in our climate. and then of course dealing with the nuclear threat that we have with north korea as well as what we're seeing with russia's continuing pushing at our country. and, no, i don't think the answer is to stand with and oh hey, i disagree with my own intelligence people. the answer is to stand with strength and stand with our allies. >> christine carter is a high school teacher from concord. go ahead, christine. >> my high school students are growing up believing that the partisan divide in congress is normal and insurmountable. they're also hearing that their president can speak and acting without filters. in other words, they're growing up to be cynics regarding our american government. how could you intend to help to restore faith in the american system of governance for those coming of age under president
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trump? >> well, i think the first thing is to stop governing by tweet. okay? and all these mean-spirited messages that makes it hard for teachers to say, you know, you don't have to agree with everything the president says, no one's going to agree with them but you have to have someone you have faith, in that respects the institution, someone you can look up to. and from the moment that president trump was sworn into office, i will never forget that dark day with the clouds coming in where i sat actually in between senator mccain, who i miss very much, as well as senator sanders. it was the three of us that day. and we were just shocked as the language and the rhetoric got darker and darker. to the answer to me is to reach out. instead of just looking down, which we want to do all the time. right? you see this news on tv, you don't want your kids to see it. instead of looking down or looking away, we have to look at each other and we have to look
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up at the challenges before us. we have always done this as a great nation. this is everything from income inequality to health care to the challenges that we have with our democracy. i believe that we are better than this. i believe we can move forward and the only way we do it is if we do it together and cross that river of our divides. >> thank you, senator. thank you, christine. cnn's presidential town hall with senator amy klobuchar will be right back. i hear it in the background and she's watching too, saying
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[indistinct conversation]
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welcome back, everyone, to cnn's democratic presidential town hall with senator amy klobuchar. so senator, donald trump once said to the african-american community what do you have to lose? what's your agenda for black america? >> you were in minnesota actually at our martin luther king dinner -- breakfast and saw firsthand the strong community that we have there. so i have been working on these
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racial justice issues all my life. when i had that job, as prosecutor, i first of all wanted to make sure our ofts better reflected the community that we represented, including who we hired. secondly, there are many problems, as you know, with the criminal justice system. and so one of the things that i took on early on was eyewitness identification, which can be a big issue with misidentifications based on race. so we actually changed the way we did business. i worked with the innocence project on making sure we got the word out on protecting defendants' rights when it came to funding public defenders but also when it came to making sure that we had a record of questioning of victims, of witnesses, and of defendants. so that was part of it. and then i got to the senate and continued that work. we talked about the first step act and the work on voter suppression.
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i think some of you know from the cabinet hearings i serve on the judiciary committee. so we have done a lot of work in that area. but through it all i have always believed the same thing. and to paraphrase martin luther king, you can do all you can to integrate a lunch counter but if you can't afford a hamburger what good did you do. so for me the economics is key right now. there are so many jobs in stem. we were just talking during the break about this digital disruption. there's things we need to do on privacy but there's also retraining of people and there is also new jobs out there. and i head up the diversified tech caucus in the senate with senator tim scott, who's a republican as well as shelley capito. one of the first bills i passed in this administration was about making sure we get more people of color involved in tech. we have to look at those jobs as well as the basics. increase the minimum wage, right? make sure -- which hasn't been
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done federally since over a decade. make sure that we are doing something about health care, child care, paid family leave, so that we make it easier for people who are not in the same position as everyone else and weren't born with the silver spoon in their mouth, that they are able to pursue the american dream because no matter where you come from or where you worship or what you look like this should be a country of shared dreams. [ applause ] >> when you said -- when you talked about income, right? about the minimum wage. you got applause. you didn't pause for it. i'm surprised. why not? >> i will. but it is an unbelievable thing that we have not increased the federal minimum wage for something like a decade. and it's just stuck where it is. and we should be increasing the minimum wage. that brings up the wage everywhere. [ applause ] >> i want to go to the gentleman
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out front. his name is herbert pence, a retiree who's lived in new hampshire for 43 years. herbert, good evening. how are you doing? >> first of all, no relation. >> thank you, herbert. thank you for clarifying that. >> okay. my question is i'm not interested in what denomination she is, but how often does mrs. klobuchar attend religious services? >> that's interesting. well, whenever i can i go to church. i am -- i'll tell you, i'm a congregational. and i'm husband's actually catholic. and i'm actually really active in the senate prayer breakfast. that's something you may not have known about me. i chaired the national prayer breakfast. i actually spoke at the prayer breakfast just two years ago on the national stage. and the senate prayer breakfast is a really important thing. it happens once a week. no one ever knows what peopl


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