Klobuchar Treated to Softballs From Stephanopoulos About 2020 Bid

After announcing her presidential run on Sunday, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar was careful to choose a friendly media forum to conduct her first interview as a 2020 candidate on Monday – ABC’s Good Morning America. Predictably, the Democrat was treated to a series of softball questions from co-host George Stephanopoulos.

“So we all saw you push those words out. What does it feel like to say that, ‘I’m running for President of the United States’?,” Stephanopoulos wondered as he began the promotional sit-down. After Klobuchar explained her eagerness to enter the race, Stephanopoulos followed up: “It is also gonna be a huge Democratic field running for the chance to run against President Trump. What do you bring to the race that no one else is offering, that only you are bringing?”

 

 

The anchor was aghast that President Trump mocked Klobuchar’s announcement event and her climate change advocacy:

The President – that caught the President’s eye yesterday. You probably saw the tweet, I’m sure you saw his tweet right after your announcement. He says you were out there “talking proudly of fighting global warming while in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Bad timing. By the end of her speech, she looked like a snowman(woman)!.” So you’ve got your nickname....Snowwoman....But he’s saying basically if it’s snowing, we don’t have a problem.

Klobuchar declared that Trump was “so wrong” and issued a warning on climate change, before remarking: “And what I said to him back was, I’d like to see – when he called me a snowwoman – I’d like to see how his hair would fare in a blizzard.” The GMA in-studio audience laughed, applauded, and cheered.

Stephanopoulos was delighted by her response: “Well, then, you just answered my next question, because I was going ask, you know, he posed some challenges to Hillary Clinton, running against him. She never quite figured it out. How do you handle things like the tweets? Things like being called names?”

After repeatedly teeing up Klobuchar to tout her credentials and attack the President, Stephanopoulos finally got close to a challenging question when he vaguely asked the Senator about allegations that she mistreated her Capitol Hill staff. However, rather than cite specific accusations, like her throwing office supplies at her employees, the host gently noted:

One of the raps on you is that you’re a tough boss, as you know. There are several stories that have come out in the last week, high staff turnover in the Senate. What do you think is fair about that criticism? And what have you learned from it?

Klobuchar got away with briefly acknowledging that she was “tough” on her staff because she had “high expectations.”

Completely absent from the interview was a single mention of Klobuchar’s fellow Minnesota Democrat, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, being embroiled in scandal after sending out anti-Semitic tweets on Sunday. In January, it was revealed that Omar had a history of anti-Semitism when a 2012 tweet was revealed in which she called Israel “evil.”

Weeks earlier, Klobuchar’s fellow Democratic Senator and 2020 candidate Kamala Harris was given the same easy treatment on the ABC morning show.

Having lobbed nothing but softballs to Klobuchar on Monday, Stephanopoulos concluded their chat by laughably asking: “Are you ready for all the scrutiny that comes with running for president?” Klobuchar confidently replied: “Yes, I am.”

Based on the friendly exchange, she has little to fear from ABC News.  

Here is a transcript of Stephanopoulos’s questions to Klobuchar on February 11:

8:39 AM ET

(...)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And there you see Senator Amy Klobuchar announcing her run for president in a very snowy Minnesota on Sunday. Welcome to GMA. [Cheers and applause]

AMY KLOBUCHAR: Thank you, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So we all saw you push those words out. What does it feel like to say that, “I’m running for President of the United States”?

(...)

STEPHANOPOULOS: It was a huge snowstorm. It is also gonna be a huge Democratic field running for the chance to run against President Trump. What do you bring to the race that no one else is offering, that only you are bringing?

(...)

KLOBUCHAR: And we have to do something about climate change.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you mentioned that. The President – that caught the President’s eye yesterday. You probably saw the tweet, I’m sure you saw his tweet right after your announcement. He says you were out there “talking proudly of fighting global warming while in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Bad timing. By the end of her speech, she looked like a snowman(woman)!.” So you’ve got your nickname.

KLOBUCHAR: Snowwoman?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Snowwoman.

KLOBUCHAR: It could be so much worse. [Laughter]

STEPHANOPOULOS: But he’s saying basically if it’s snowing, we don’t have a problem.

KLOBUCHAR: Okay, that is so wrong.

(...)

KLOBUCHAR: And what I said to him back was, I’d like to see – when he called me a snowwoman – I’d like to see how his hair would fare in a blizzard. [Laughter, applause, cheers]

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, then, you just answered my next question, because I was going ask, you know, he posed some challenges to Hillary Clinton, running against him. She never quite figured it out. How do you handle things like the tweets? Things like being called names?

(...)

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the raps on you is that you’re a tough boss, as you know. There are several stories that have come out in the last week, high staff turnover in the Senate. What do you think is fair about that criticism? And what have you learned from it?

(...)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you ready for all the scrutiny that comes with running for president?  

KLOBUCHAR: Yes, I am.

(...)


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