White House hopeful Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Klobuchar'Facebook Papers' turn up heat on embattled social media platform Omar, Klobuchar lead charge seeking Congressional Gold Medal for Prince Klobuchar: 'Facebook knew' it was hurting communities MORE (D-Minn.) drew sharp contrasts with some of her progressive primary competitors Friday night as she sought to burnish her moderate bona fides.
The Minnesota lawmaker criticized health and education plans that have been promoted by Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats face critical 72 hours Overnight Health Care — Presented by Altria — Manchin nixes Medicare expansion Manchin shutting down Sanders on Medicare expansion MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats face critical 72 hours The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Democrats inch closer to legislative deal This week: Democrats aim to unlock Biden economic, infrastructure package MORE (D-Mass.). Both presidential candidates are running in the primary field’s progressive lane.
Klobuchar said single payer health care plans would kick millions of Americans off their insurance and that their plans for free public colleges and universities would allow rich families to exploit taxpayer dollars.
“I want to win big, and if someone is looking to kick 149 million Americans off their current health insurance in four years, then I’m not your candidate,” Klobuchar said. Both Sanders's and Warren's “Medicare for All” proposals include eliminating private insurance.
“If you want to use a bunch of hard-working people’s money to send rich people’s kids to college for free, then I’m not your candidate,” Klobuchar added. “And just because people say ideas are bold doesn’t mean they’re bold. They may be bad.”
The Warren campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill.
Sanders spokesman Mike Casca blasted Klobuchar's criticisms.
"First, Bernie will guarantee health care to every man, woman and child as a human right through Medicare for All," Casca said in a statement. "Second of all, he’s going to make all public colleges and universities tuition-free and cancel all student debt not by taxing working Americans but by imposing a modest tax on Wall Street speculation. Sen. Klobuchar should know in the richest nation in the world these are not radical ideas."
Klobuchar has found herself in the middle tier of the primary field in both fundraising and polling. She will appear onstage Tuesday for the next primary debate.
The Minnesota Democrat has sought to cast herself as a center-left candidate, as opposed to several front-runners who have worked to appeal to the party’s progressive flank, and is attempting to attract Midwestern voters in a region set to be a key battleground in 2020.