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Klobuchar, Buttigieg clash over vote on Trump CBP nominee

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) battled each other Wednesday night over Klobuchar’s vote to confirm Kevin McAleenan, former head of Customs and Border Protection (CBP0.

Late into Wednesday’s Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas, Klobuchar came under fire from Buttigieg for her vote to confirm McAleenan, who went on to become President Trump’s acting Homeland Security secretary before his resignation last year.

“If you’re going to run on your record in Washington, then you’ve got to own those votes, especially when it comes to immigration,” Buttigieg told the senator. “You voted to confirm the head of Customs and Border Protection under Trump, who is one of the architects of the family separation policy.

“You voted to make English the national language,” he added. “Do you know what message that sends in as multilingual a state as Nevada to immigrants?”

Buttigieg finished his remarks with a message in Spanish before Klobuchar fired back: “I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete. But let me tell you what it’s like to be in the arena.”

Klobuchar then corrected Buttigieg’s statement about the number of judges nominated by Trump for whom she had voted, though her defense of her record was contested by the liberal judicial activist group WeDemandJustice on Twitter, and responded to his remark about McAleenan: “The things that you are referring to, that official that you are referring to, was supported by about half the Democrats, including someone in this room. And I will say this: he was highly recommended by the Obama officials.”

The exchange marked the end of a night of fierce confrontations between the two moderate candidates, and occurred minutes after a fiery clash between the two during which Klobuchar questioned whether the 38-year-old former mayor was doubting her intelligence.

The two candidates are both battling to increase their share of nonwhite voters in the face of polling showing them at a disadvantage among such voters compared with candidates such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Tags 2020 Democratic debates 2020 Democratic primary 2020 election Amy Klobuchar Amy Klobuchar Amy Klobuchar 2020 presidential campaign Bernie Sanders Buttigieg Donald Trump Joe Biden Pete Buttigieg Pete Buttigieg

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