Amy Klobuchar On Female Presidential Candidates: 'Discount Them At Your Own Peril'

The senator and presidential contender spoke at a Fox News town hall event about sexism in the 2020 election.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is not deterred by anyone’s doubts about a woman’s chance of winning the presidency in 2020.

At a Fox News town hall event on Wednesday in Milwaukee, the presidential candidate was asked about sexism in news coverage of the 2020 presidential candidates, as well as male candidates appearing to be ahead in early polling.

“I think, may the best woman win,” Klobuchar quipped. She noted that Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) is a woman, as is Wisconsin’s own Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D).

“Women won all kinds of elections,” Klobuchar said. “You discount them at your own peril.”

Klobuchar, the first woman from Minnesota elected to the U.S. Senate, is one of more than 20 Democrats in the 2020 presidential race so far. It’s the most diverse field of presidential contenders ever, with several women running, including women of color. The female candidates include Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif), and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).

Yet early polls show two white men ― former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) ― consistently in the lead. In HuffPost’s polling in late March, Biden ― who had yet to announce his candidacy at the time ― was also the only contender whom the majority of Democratic voters (69%) named as capable of beating President Donald Trump in 2020.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar takes questions at a Fox News town hall meeting on May 8, 2019, in Milwaukee.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar takes questions at a Fox News town hall meeting on May 8, 2019, in Milwaukee.

Earlier this week, Harris gave her own pointed response to anyone who may question certain candidates’ “electability.”

“There has been a lot of conversation by pundits about ‘electability’ and who can speak to the Midwest ... and too often, their definition of the Midwest leaves people out,” Harris said in a speech at the NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Detroit on Sunday.

Harris suggested those left out of the “electability” conversation are people of color and women.

“It leaves out people in this room who helped build cities like Detroit,” said the senator, who is black and Asian, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India. “It leaves out working women who are on their feet all day.”

“The conversation too often suggests certain voters will only vote for certain candidates,” Harris added. “And it is shortsighted, it’s wrong and the voters deserve better.”

Klobuchar is the latest presidential candidate to do a town hall on the conservative-leaning Fox News network. Sanders did one last month, and Gillibrand and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, are set to appear on Fox News in the coming weeks.

At the town hall, Klobuchar also responded to a question about reports this year from HuffPost and other outlets detailing allegations that she mistreated her staff.

“Do I have high standards for myself and for my staff and for my country? Yes, I do,” Klobuchar said. “Not everyone loves you. But that’s not your job. Your job is to do what’s right for this country.”