- The Washington Times - Monday, February 10, 2020

NASHUA, N.H. — Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota on Monday sought to draw a contrast with some of her 2020 presidential rivals by saying she stood alone on the most recent debate stage in voicing concerns about having a democratic socialist leading the Democratic party ticket.

“I don’t agree with everything people say on the debate stage,” Ms. Klobuchar said. “In fact, when we were asked at the last debate if we thought a socialist should lead the ticket, I was the only one that raised my hand and said no, I don’t think so.”

“That doesn’t mean I’m not good friends with Bernie — I am — I just have a different philosophy than he does,” she continued, referring to Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, a self-described “democratic socialist.”

Before that moment, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden had also expressed concerns about President Trump weaponizing the socialist label.

A day before the New Hampshire primary, Ms. Klobuchar was making a lunchtime appearance at the Nashua Country Club at a buttoned-up event put on by the Rotary Club.

She also said free college plans, which are being pushed by candidates like Mr. Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, sound “great on a bumper sticker.”

“I don’t think that’s best for the economy,” she said, saying she’s delivered that message to liberal Democrats as well. “I actually tease them that they’re not thinking big enough.”

Despite a fifth-place finish in Iowa, Ms. Klobuchar has surged to as high as third place in some recent polling on New Hampshire.

Even if she doesn’t win Tuesday, finishing ahead of Mr. Biden or Ms. Warren could propel Ms. Klobuchar’s campaign forward and provide her some staying power in the race.

“I have been here 23 times, and I am someone that goes slowly but surely and we reached a point,” she told reporters after the event. “And then the debate is what really brought even more people into our camp.”

Jeanne Geisser, a realtor from Atkinson who was on hand to listen to her, voted for President Trump in 2016 but said she’s now weighing Ms. Klobuchar and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

“Just the whole political climate, I think, really needs a change,” she said.

She said Ms. Klobuchar has articulated her strengths well and that her more moderate leanings are appealing.

“What’s appealed to me about Amy is she speaks to you — she doesn’t yell at you,” she said. “That’s what I like about her presentation. Elizabeth Warren — I would never vote for her because I feel like she yells at us like we’re her children.”

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