Amy Klobuchar

Iowa State Fair Political Soapbox - Aug. 10, 2019

Amy Klobuchar
August 10, 2019— Des Moines, Iowa
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“Wow this is something, thank you everyone! I am Amy Klobuchar, the senator from Minnesota, where we can see--where we can see Iowa from our porch. And now there are some comparisons made between the Minnesota and Iowa state fairs. I'm not gonna say which one is better but I will say this; I am very much looking forward to your butter cow, Iowa we'll see how it compares to our princess Kay of the Milky Way and the revolving refrigerator of the 12 butter bus of the princesses. I once asked one of the dairy princesses what she does with her butter carving when she's out of the fair and she says that she brings it home and they use it in the corn fest. Okay, that's an image. All right so I have been all around Iowa the last few days on a 20 county tour and let's just say it's a little warmer than it was when I announced my candidacy in the middle of that blizzard. But I thought that would be good to show that I have grit and ended up with four inches of snow on my head and the hairdresser became an icon. But I announced my candidacy there because I wanted to make the point on the Mississippi River, that it is time to cross the river of our divides in our politics and get to a higher plane and as I stood outside of Ankeny in front of a barn with the flag-draped on that barn a few days ago, I thought to myself that is the same flag that's flying over El Paso. That is the same flag that is flying over Dayton. because what unites America is so much stronger than what divides us. No matter what this president says or what he tweets we all know that truth and no mr. president after Charlottesville there wasn't two sides when the other side is a Klu Klux Klan and white supremacist. There is only one side and that is the American side. And when I have been out there in the small towns, I have been really surprised--not just Democrats and at this very fair but people have come up, regular people have come up to me and started talking about gun safety. And I think it is very important that we have these discussions in places like Iowa because I am the one that sat across from the President of the United States in the White House after Parkland. I sat there because I have been a leader on gun safety yet coming from a big hunting state. And when I look at these proposals I say to myself do any of them hurt my uncle dick in the deer stand? They do not, these are proposals that make sense and as I sat across from him I watched and I kept track and nine times he promised that he would get universal background checks done and you know what he did instead? The next day he went and met with the NRA and he folded. When I am your president, I will not fold all right. I will not fold because when I make promises I keep them. I look people in the eye, telling the truth and as you probably heard I have won in the reddest of congressional districts. And I think it is pretty important, Iowa to have a candidate from the Midwest from the heartland right now, I do and someone that just doesn't have a bunch of policies written down on a piece of paper.

(Video cuts)--economic agenda. First, I think that kids that grow up in rural America should be able to live in rural America. I think that we need to bridge this divide between rural and urban and make sure that people that live in metropolitan areas understand that food just doesn't magically show up on their table right. And understand that we need strong farm policies and we don't need a president that is treating our rural areas and our farmers like they're a bunch of poker chips in one of his bankrupt casinos. Because that's what's happening right now and as your president I will not let that happen. This means standing up to the big oil companies when it comes to climate change and it also means standing up to the big oil companies so you don't grant them a bunch of waivers from the Renewable Fuels standard behind closed doors. I'm just not saying this right now at the Iowa State Fair, I have been leading on this issue since this guy got in office. And speaking of climate change, we have to make the argument that it is also an economic issue for this country when we've seen a 50% increase in the cost of home insurance. That's a pretty basic Minnesota, Iowa, Midwestern argument that we can make; it's gonna cost people money if we don't do something about it right now. I stood there with Fran in Pacific Junction and looked through her binoculars and she showed me her house. She said, “my husband I bought this house with her four-year-olds, we are going to retire in this house and I love the kitchen I love the way the light comes into the windows but now that whole kitchen is submerged in water.” She said, “this house has stood here for nearly a century and there is still horsehair in the plaster,” and I said to her well it's a river right here because there was raging water coming by she said, “no no no that's the road,” she said, “the river is two and a half miles away and it's never come this close before.” Climate change is not happening in a hundred years it is happening right now and we can do--

(video cuts)--standards and the gas mileage standards, we can do a lot with soil and conservation we put a pilot program right in the farm bill that's going to be helpful for all of Iowa and the last time Iowa believed in science or you wouldn't have given us Norman Borlaug right? Norman Borlaug who believed in science enough to feed the world and to stop a billion people from dying of hunger, that's what started in this state. And when it comes to health care we have to bring those prices down and by the way when I'm president, I'll do everything I can to work with you to stop the privatization of Medicaid that's happened in this state. That is wrong, that is wrong. Mental health; no one is talking about this issue, yet in your state there are only 64 public mental health beds in the state of Iowa. I am talking about it because it's what I hear firsthand from you all the time addiction, mental health, infrastructure, putting a president in place that's gonna have an optimistic economic agenda, that's going to take on these issues and get them done. Now we cannot do any of this if we can't win. And part of what I have tried to do in the debates and I know maybe I haven't had a viral moment all right. But what I have tried to do is to not take it to the other Democrats we're gonna have policy disagreements and part of what you guys got to do and now no one does this better than Iowa is vet the candidates and not go for the richest candidate and not go for the candidate from the biggest state or the one that has the biggest pot of money what you have done is you vetted candidates that were unknown before and then they came to Iowa and you have decided and helped the country decide who are the best candidates to move forward and I'm asking you to do that again. My track record is of getting things done. I have passed over a hundred bills where I am the lead Democrat think that that matters. Getting things done matters. I have won every place, every race, every time I won every race back to elementary school. Where my slogan, which okay I've abandoned was: All the way with Amy Kay. All right we're not gonna use that one, maybe that’ll give me the viral moment though all right. but I think we should be using those debates because we know you know, especially in this state that there are moderate Republicans and independents watching those debates right they are and they're thinking they're kind of tired of Donald Trump. They don't like a president where every time they turn on the TV and their kids are watching they got to turn it off because they don't know what words are gonna come out of his mouth. They want a different kind of president. And they're watching those debates so I think it is very important that we make the point there is so much more that unifies us than divides us, which I made earlier. But also that he has made a bunch of promises he hasn't kept he promised on Fox News that he was going to bring pharmaceutical prices down so low it would make your head spin. Well it makes your head spin when over 2,000 of them have gone up in double digits right. I keep my promises and I've been taking on pharma since I got to Washington. I lead the bill to unleash the power of 43 million seniors, that's a lot of seniors to negotiate prices under Medicare and bring those prices down. I lead the bill with Senator Grassley previously Senator McCain and I did this bill together and this is a bill that says let's bring in less expensive drugs from other countries like Canada. Why should our country that has developed so many of these great pharmaceuticals be paying twice as much as the country of Canada. And finally let's stop pay-for-delay, you know what that is? The big pharma companies pay off the generics to keep their products off the market. They both win and we lose. So that is an economic agenda for this country and finally, training our workforce for the jobs that are available tomorrow, not yesterday this is also about immigration reform and don't let ever anyone tell you that immigrants aren't an important part of our economy. Nearly everyone out there stands on the shoulders of immigrants and we need workers in Iowa, in our factories and we need them in our in our farms and in our fields and in our nursing home in our hospital. I was at a vet's home just yesterday and they were talking about the shortage of mental health professionals and how much they want to have people who have studied in med schools here and done well in Iowa who are from other countries be able to stay here. So my message to you is this: we need comprehensive immigration reform, we need to stop using immigrants as pawns, immigrants don't diminish America; they are America. And that is the voice that is the voice from the heartland, that is the voice from the heartland. And the last thing I want to say before I take a few questions is this: change starts right here. Think of the presidential candidates that have come through on this stage and have gone on to do amazing things for our country. Jimmy Carter Noah knew who he was. Bill Clinton, Barack Obama you have a big burden on your shoulders but that's because you're used to it. You know what Iowa gave us, Iowa gave us the Granger movement where you took on those big monopolies. It started here in the cornfields all right. You did that and we need to do that again. Iowa gave us as I mentioned, Norman Borlaug who fed the world. Iowa gave us Edna Griffin, that woman who went to Katz drugstore and sat at the counter and when they refused to serve her because she was black she said no, I'm not moving off of this counter, that's what you gave us. Iowa gave us these incredible candidates who are taking on the world and changing the house and that would be Abby and Cindy and Rita and JD who's going to beat Steve King in that district that is what you've given us. You have led the country and you are leading again, but the guy in the White House now, he governs from fear right he makes people afraid he says things on Twitter and most of the time he doesn't follow through but he makes people afraid. He is afraid himself, he is afraid of the NRA and that's why he didn't put common-sense gun legislation in place.

(video cuts)--and he called me “snow woman”. I thought that was actually pretty good so I tweeted back “Donald Trump the science is on my side and I'd like to see how your hair would fare in a blizzard.” I actually think we need to use a little humor against this guy all right. But he governs from fear he's afraid of the science he's afraid of the future he's afraid about people having equal seats at the table and economic opportunity so he goes after them. He is afraid of the working class having the same economic opportunity as the wealthy so he passes that tax bill that added a trillion dollars in debt--a trillion dollars in debt and set our country backward. He's afraid of women and our rights, he's afraid of that and most of all he's afraid of a woman in the White House we--we are not afraid of that. So I ask you, today, everyone gathered at this beautiful--

(video cuts)--mobile home, six boys in a mobile home. So we don't come from that money but what we do come from his a strong tradition of grassroots politics of Tom Harkin and the guy who was his best friend in the Senate Paul Wellstone who we miss so much. And Paul always said politics including right here at places like this politics is about one thing it's about improving people's lives and when you believe that, everything else melts away so let's go out there and let's win this and please join our effort, we're gonna win this,, thank you everyone!”