ATLANTA — Amy Klobuchar took a dig at Elizabeth Warren’s penchant for generous policy plans during the fifth Democratic primary debate, promising not to pitch unrealistic proposals to voters.
“I’m not going to go for things just because they sound good on a bumper sticker and then throw in a free car,” the Minnesota senator, 59, said in Atlanta.
Klobuchar made the comments in response to a question about her push for paid family leave should she win her party’s nomination next summer and beat President Trump in the general election.
Klobuchar, a former prosecutor, on Wednesday night said she would “love to staple free diplomas under people’s chairs,” but believed Democrats needed to be “fiscally responsible” and had to show the electorate they had “people’s backs.” Aside from Warren’s free college platform, she also criticized the Massachusetts senator’s support of “Medicare for All,” which would effectively eliminate private health insurance in favor of a government program. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders holds similar positions.
Klobuchar’s remarks showcase a more assertive posture she has adopted against her fellow White House hopefuls since last month’s debate in Westerville, Ohio. On Wednesday, she additionally jabbed at South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg for his sharp rise in presidential politics, despite his lack of national experienced compared to other women candidates on the stage.
Klobuchar, however, has come under scrutiny for family leave practices in her own office. In February, she changed a policy that required staffers who took up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave to remain employed with her for three times as many weeks once they returned to work, or pay back their salary, the New York Times reported.
A Klobuchar aide told CNN at the time that the scheme has been updated in the staff handbook after it was brought to their attention.
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