(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the 2020 Democratic candidate from Minnesota, said she was “extremely concerned” that Roe vs. Wade was at risk of being overturned by recent laws passed to challenge and overturn the Supreme Court precedent on ABC’s “The View” Friday morning.
“What these guys are doing is unbelievable – I say guys because the guys in the state senate in Alabama it was all men,” Klobuchar said. “They’re taking us backward.”
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed the state’s controversial abortion ban into law this week, though it is expected to face near-immediate legal challenges.
The ban makes it a felony for doctors in the state to perform abortions in all cases, with the only exception being when the life of the mother is threatened. It does not include exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
“These guys are setting us up, using women as political pawns to set this up for a case to go to the Supreme Court, and it makes it more important for anyone listening out there that cares about families rights to make their own decisions,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar is one of four women senators running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
In recent days, Klobuchar has been outspoken on the new abortion laws in Georgia, Alabama and Missouri, all of which are some of the most restrictive in the nation and passed within a few days of each other, calling them a “coordinated attack on women’s health care” and an “attempt to turn back the clock.”
Klobuchar was also asked about allegations that she mistreated her staff, which surfaced in February in reports by Huffington Post and Buzzfeed.
Klobuchar answered by talking about the high standards she holds herself and her staff to, while also giving them credit for many of her accomplishments.
As a woman, Klobuchar said, “you can’t be likable in every moment” when you have a high-powered job.
“I think one of the things that I have seen here is that oftentimes when you’re a woman candidate, people underestimate you,” Klobuchar said.
“They think, oh, maybe you’re not going to do the job, put you into a box of what they think you’re going to be, and I think every woman in this audience right now and out there watching knows what it’s like to be underestimated,” Klobuchar said.
“You get underestimated and you get criticized and you have to rise above it,” she said.
The senator from Minnesota is seeking to appeal to moderate voters through her record as a purple-state leader. Though Klobuchar hails from a state that just narrowly voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, she has done well in counties across Minnesota that voted for Trump.
Two of her primary platforms have been focused on advancements for the middle class, including a hefty investment in infrastructure and a substance abuse and mental health plan.
Klobuchar, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, was also asked to respond to claims of stonewalling from the Department of Justice on attempts from Democrats to get more materials surrounding the redacted report from special counsel Robert Mueller.
“The answer is to hold them accountable, continue to push the subpoenas, to go to court and get the information,” Klobuchar said. “Why? You want to get the truth, but you also want to get to the bottom of what happened when a foreign country invaded our election,” she said.
On whether or not Mueller will testify himself, as top Democrats have requested, Klobuchar suggested that could happen when Mueller becomes a private citizen and is off the government payroll.
Klobuchar has not called for the House to call for impeachment proceedings to begin, as Democratic candidates like Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California, but said Friday “it’s not off the table at all.”
The question, Klobuchar said, is what would happen if the vote went to the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans.
After Attorney General William Barr testified before the committee in early May, Klobuchar wrote Barr and special counsel Robert Mueller letters about the report and obstruction of justice involving President Donald Trump, asserting that there were more questions left unanswered.
In 2018, she introduced bipartisan legislation to secure the country’s elections against Russian interference.
The Secure Elections Act would mandate paper ballot backups in certain states and require audited election results but was stopped in its tracks by calls from the White House.
“We know Russia interfered in the 2016 election, and we know they’re trying to do it again in 2020. Protecting our democracy shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Congress must pass my bipartisan election security legislation now,” Klobuchar tweeted on Thursday.
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