MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced Sunday she is running for president, joining a large pool of Democratic candidates who have already formed exploratory committees.
The announcement came after several speakers, including Gov. Tim Walz and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, made their case for the senator amid heavy snow and temperatures in the teens.
“As your President, I will look you in the eye. I will tell you what I think. I will focus on getting things done. That’s what I’ve done my whole life. And no matter what, I’ll lead from the heart,” Klobuchar said.
In her speech, Klobuchar also emphasized what she believes is the need to “move forward together.”
“I’m asking you to not look down and not look away. I’m asking you to look up. To look at each other. To look to the future before us. Let us rise to the occasion and meet the challenges of our day,” she said. “Let us cross the river of our divides and walk across our sturdy bridge to higher ground.”
Sen. Klobuchar, a member of Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, was first elected to the Senate in 2006. She easily secured her third term in November, winning Minnesota by more than 600,000 votes.
She currently serves as a ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Before being elected to the United States Senate, Klobuchar served as Hennepin County Attorney.
Klobuchar’s bid has come with some scrutiny. Several anonymous allegations detailed in recent Huffington Post and Buzzfeed articles describe the senator as being demeaning to her staff.
A spokesperson for Klobuchar issued a statement regarding the allegations, saying, in part: “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.”
President Donald Trump tweeted his reaction to Klobuchar’s announcement, saying she talked “proudly of fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Bad timing.”
Sen. Klobuchar fired back after President Trump’s tweet, saying “Looking forward to debating you about climate change (and many other issues).”
Republican Party of Minnesota Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan also released a statement in response to Klobuchar’s Sunday speech, saying the senator wants to have it “both ways.”
“Today, Senator Amy Klobuchar officially announced her run for President with a theme of ‘having it both ways,'” Carnahan said. “Klobuchar appears to want to position herself as a moderate from heartland USA in a party that is rapidly embracing Socialism … It’s time to choose, Senator Klobuchar.”
The first contest of the presidential season is about a year away. The Iowa Caucuses are Feb. 3, 2020.