MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden gave Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar a fundraising lift and vouched for her as the type of “gutsy” leader Washington could use more of as he breezed through Minnesota on Wednesday.
The vice president headlined a fundraiser for the first-term senator in downtown Minneapolis. Klobuchar is seeking re-election in November in an election where Biden and President Barack Obama will also be standing for a second term.
Addressing the hotel audience of 350 people, Biden mentioned Klobuchar’s votes for things like the auto industry bailout as an example of her “gumption” given a skeptical public at the time.
“We would not let an iconic industry evaporate, an industry that helped build the middle class,” Biden said, adding that Klobuchar was among those who “stepped up and she voted for it, and it was an incredibly unpopular vote.”
The fundraiser was Biden’s only Minnesota event. It was open to people giving between $125 and $10,000.
Klobuchar has a multimillion-dollar head start on her prospective fall opponent. The three main GOP challengers — Kurt Bills, Pete Hegseth and Dan Severson — have yet to crack seven figures in their fundraising.
But she said in the age of Super PACS that can raise and spend unlimited dollars, candidate accounts are no longer enough.
“So your help today means I can take it on and that we are ready for anything,” Klobuchar told the crowd.
Klobuchar and her rivals face a weekend deadline to report on fundraising for the first few months of the year. Any money raised Wednesday won’t be required to be disclosed until mid-summer.
The Republican National Committee and state deputy GOP chairwoman Kelly Fenton issued statements critical of Biden and Klobuchar before the event but there was no organized GOP presence outside the hotel.
“We would hope that Biden and Klobuchar could focus on solutions to get our country back on track instead of hitting the campaign trail to ask for more patience from voters,” Fenton said.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)