Remarks at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Event in Cedar Rapids

June 09, 2019

Thank you, Iowa Democrats. I am your senator next door and I can see Iowa from my porch. So neighbors, you may have seen my announcement in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard. You know what happened after that announcement? The President sent out a tweet and he made fun of me for talking about climate change in the middle of a snowstorm and he gave me a nickname: snow-woman. So I wrote back, "Hey Donald Trump, the science is on my side and I would like to see how your hair would fare in a blizzard."

I announced by that river because I wanted to make the point that I come from the heartland. And yes, we have snow in the heartland. And I don't come from money, but I have grit.

You know, I got into politics with that grit when our daughter was born and she was really sick— she couldn't swallow. And back then, the insurance companies had a rule that they kicked you out of the hospital after 24 hours. And she was in intensive care and I got kicked out of that hospital. When we got out and she got a little better, I went to the legislature as a new mom, not as an elected official, and advocated and got passed one of the first laws in the country guaranteeing new moms and their babies a 48-hour hospital stay.

My background is a little different than Donald Trump. My grandpa, a union member, worked 1,500 feet underground in the mines. He saved money in a coffee can to send my dad to community college. My mom, she grew up in Wisconsin, she became a teacher— a proud union teacher— and she taught second grade until she was 70 years old. I stand before you today as the granddaughter of an iron ore miner, the daughter of a teacher and a newspaper man, the first woman elected to the United States Senate from the state of Minnesota and a candidate for President of the United States.

That is what this country is about. That no matter where you come from, no matter who you know, no matter what you look like, no matter what your connections are, no matter who you love, that you can become President of the United States. That is a country of shared dreams and we have a President that tries to fracture those dreams every single day.

And I say, what better place to vow to revive the heart of America than in the heartland of America. What does this mean? It means an optimistic economic agenda, bridging that rural-urban divide. It means making sure the people in the urban areas understand that food just doesn't magically appear on your table. It means investing in childcare and fair housing, infrastructure, and getting our education system back on track. Iowa, it means standing up to risky schemes of privatizing Medicaid, it means standing up for our rural hospital, and it means saying to those big pharma companies, "You know what? You might have two lobbyists for every member of Congress, you might think that they own Washington, but they don't own me."

That is what standing up for America is about. So let's stand up for unions and the right to organize. Because when unions are strong, our economy is strong. Let's stand up like the Grangers of Iowa 130 years ago and stand up against monopoly power. Let's pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. That is how we get the dark money out of our politics.

But to do this, we need to win. And I know I can win because I have done it every place, everywhere, every time. And if we don't think we can win in the Midwest with a Midwesterner heading our ticket, I have four words for you: former Governor Scott Walker.

Iowa, look at the arc we are on. The day after the inauguration, millions of people peacefully marched across the country. Day nine, after the mean-spirited refugee order, people spontaneously showed at the airport. Day 100, the March for Science: my favorite sign: "What do we want? Science! When do we want it? After peer review!" Then, the fighting Democrats, we stood up against their attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act and then those students marched against gun violence. And they didn't just march, they voted. And then finally, last fall, with Abby and Cindy and all of your help, we turned the House of Representatives back into the People's House. That is how we win, that is how we win in 2020, and that is how we bring back America and revive the heart of America. That is what my campaign is about, it is a grassroots effort. Join us! Thank you, Iowa.

Amy Klobuchar, Remarks at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Event in Cedar Rapids Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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