LACONIA — Polling at 2 percent in New Hampshire but coming off a well-regarded debate performance, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar toured the Belknap Mill on Thursday and touted her center-lane brand of Democratic politics.
She said she raised $1.2 million in campaign contributions in the 24 hours after Tuesday’s Ohio debate in which she criticized Sen. Elizabeth Warren for not being specific about tax increases that would be needed to fund Warren's Medicare-for-all health care plans.
Klobuchar proposes expanding the Affordable Care Act and seeking universal health care with a public option
In an interview with The Laconia Daily Sun inside the nearly 200-year-old mill, Klobuchar continued to criticize her competitors.
She said her health care plan would be accomplished at a fraction of the cost of Medicare for all.
“My argument is that I actually have the better ideas and they are the ideas that won’t throw 149 million people off their current health insurance in four years and won’t mean free things for everyone that will mount debt up to the point where we’re going to be worse than Donald Trump if we have this kind of debt and continue on this way,” she said.
Tuition-free college is an idea opposed by Klobuchar.
“Telling all these people, ‘Hey go to a free four-year college,’ when we have all these openings for 1- and 2-year degrees, I think that is a mistake,” she said.
She said she has shown in previous elections that she can appeal to voters outside of mainly Democratic areas.
Klobuchar said that while she feels it is necessary to discuss differences between her Democratic opponents, she doesn’t lose sight of the ultimate opponent in the fall, Trump.
“On so many issues in every single debate, I have taken it to him,” she said.
Klobuchar said three people came up to her at a campaign event in Concord on Thursday morning and whispered that they supported Trump in the last election.
“We have to remember who we are talking to, not just our fired-up base – and they are fired up and you are seeking their support – but also other people who are watching and they are really troubled and either voted for him, or are Republicans or independents, and you have to get those on board, too,” she said.
One of those independents is retired anesthesiologist David Geduld, who maintains homes in Gilford and Miami.
“I’m an independent leaning more toward Republican, but in this election, I don’t think there is a Republican, so I am looking for a moderate Democrat,” he said while waiting for Klobuchar to arrive at the mill.
“I don’t think Trump is a Republican, and it’s not about policy, it’s about his manner.”
He said he likes Klobuchar’s policies on health care.
“Some of the more left in the Democratic party want Medicare for all, but that is too much,” he said. “I like the Medicare option. You are not forced to give up your insurance and if the public option is a good option, over time people will migrate to it.”
A New Hampshire poll conducted by RKM Research and Communications Oct. 9-13, showed Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden tied at 20 percent, Sen. Bernie Sanders at 15 percent, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 5 percent, Sen. Kamala Harris at 3 percent and Sen. Cory Booker and Klobuchar tied at 2 percent.