- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Pete Buttigieg accused Sen. Amy Klobuchar of being complicit in the Trump administration’s child separation practice because she voted to confirm his border chief, who went on to promote the Zero Tolerance border policy, and voted for judges he claimed were anti-immigrant.

“These are votes that you took,” Mr. Buttigieg told her during a Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas.

Ms. Klobuchar, a third-term senator from Minnesota, fired back: “You’ve memorized a bunch of talking points.”

The two midwesterners spent much of the night carping at each other, as they try to gain the upper hand in the battle for less-liberal Democratic primary voters.

Ms. Klobuchar was answering a question about immigration policy, promising to push for legalization of illegal immigrants, when Mr. Buttigieg stepped in and accused her of betraying Hispanic voters, particularly in Nevada.

In addition to her votes for President Trump’s nominees, he said she backed an amendment to make English the national language.

“Do you know the message that sends in as multi-lingual a state as Nevada?” he said.

The key vote he highlighted was to confirm Kevin McAleenan as commissioner of Customs and Border Protection. Ms. Klobuchar joined 28 other Democrats and one Democrat-backing independent, and all Republicans, in supporting Mr. McAleenan.

Mr. McAleenan would help create the Zero Tolerance policy that led to child separations.

Ms. Klobuchar defended her vote, saying Mr. McAleenan came highly recommended by Obama officials.

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