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Klobuchar Calls For The Country To Bridge The Rural-Urban Divide

John Pemble
Minnesota U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar speaks at the Des Moines Register's Political Soapbox on Saturday.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar says the 2020 presidential race needs a candidate from the Midwest, the heartland of the country, who can look out for rural America.
The Democrat Klobuchar spoke at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox Saturday at the Iowa State Fair. She said the country needs to bridge the divide between rural and urban areas.

“And make sure that people that live in metropolitan areas understand that food just doesn’t magically show up on their table,” Klobuchar said. “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.”

Klobuchar also addressed climate change, calling it an economic issue. Home insurance costs have increased by 50 percent, she said. Klobuchar mentioned meeting with Mills County resident Fran Parr in late March to see the historic flooding in southwest Iowa and hear her story about her family’s nearly century-old home being destroyed.

“Climate change is not happening in 100 years,” Klobuchar said. “It is happening right now. And we can do – we’ve got the answers right here. There is so much we can do.”

Klobuchar said that includes re-committing to the Paris Agreement, the multi-nations agreement focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that Trump withdrew the U.S. from in 2017. She said she would do this on her first day in the Oval Office.

Klobuchar emphasized the need to train the workforce for the future: “The jobs that are available tomorrow, not yesterday.” She said immigration reform plays a big part in this and that immigrants are an important part of the economy.

“We need comprehensive immigration reform. We need to stop using immigrants as pawns,” Klobuchar said. “Immigrants don’t diminish America. They are America. And that is the voice from the heartland.”

Klobuchar singled out some of Iowa’s current members of Congress and congressional candidates, including Rep. Abby Finkenauer, Rep. Cindy Axne, and now two-time 4th Congressional District candidate J.D. Scholten. These candidates are “taking on the world and changing the House,” she said.

Katie Peikes was a reporter for Iowa Public Radio from 2018 to 2023. She joined IPR as its first-ever Western Iowa reporter, and then served as the agricultural reporter.