Maplewood, Minn. — In a packed room at the Sheet Metal Workers Union Hall, more than 350 people waited to listen to Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar speak Saturday night.
Held during the Congressional Easter Break, the event, Town Hall with Amy, was hosted by multiple grassroots groups like Indivisible and Stand Up.
Klobuchar, who spent an hour answering questions and talking about the political climate in D.C., started the event off by talking about her experience on election night:
“I was pretty shocked as the national numbers started coming in that night. What I remember most from that night, is that Al [Franken] and I were going around giving speeches together and the numbers were getting worse and worse. I got home and I had gotten this [text message]. I had forgotten that my daughter was actually at Hillary’s [Clinton] party in New York and I had totally forgotten about it. She sent me this text and she asked me, ‘Mom what should we do now?’ I wrote this long thing back, ‘you need leave now…” She texted back and said, ‘Mom I mean our country.’ That was the first time I cried.”
Klobuchar said she has not experienced anything in politics like the months since President Donald Trump’s election.
During the town hall, Klobuchar took questions relating to the cost of prescription drugs, Trump’s plans for budget cuts, climate change, voting rights, Trump’s ties to Russia, and Syria.
Speaking about Russia, Klobuchar told a humorous story about being at the front lines of Ukraine and Georgia on New Year’s Eve with Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stating, “There I am with those two, on New Year’s Eve. Who do you kiss first?”
Klobuchar spoke to what she says are the three challenges the United States currently faces. Klobuchar started a conversation on Russian interference with the election calling it, “the recent intrusion into our democracy.” She also showed her support for media and journalists, and talked about the integrity of the judicial branch.
Alpha News reported on Klobuchar’s decision to stand with fellow Democratic senators and vote “no” on Gorsuch.
Klobuchar expressed her disapproval with Trump’s instituted travel bans calling it “an attack on immigrants and refugees that is wrong and violates the constitution.”
Ronny Bradtke, who traveled from St. Paul said he was grateful that Klobuchar took time to hold the meeting, “[I] hope that she’ll do this again in the next recess. It sets a great example for other members of Congress. There’s a lot of energy here in Minnesota. It’s important for our elected officials to tap into that and bring it back to Washington.”
During the last congressional break, Republican congressmen like Erik Paulsen faced harsh criticism when Indivisible, the group organizing the Klobuchar town hall, tried to set up a similar event for him. Alpha News reported back in February that the town hall was held without Paulsen.
Theo Menon, Executive Director of the Minnesota College Republicans, drove to the event to listen to Klobuchar speak.
“Senator Klobuchar conducted this town hall like a rally. She railed against Republicans and the GOP agenda as of 1.3 million of her constituents didn’t vote for Donald Trump. She’s out of touch with outstate Minnesotans, despite her comments saying she ‘understands’ their frustrations,” Menon said. “When I asked her what concrete bipartisan legislation she was working on, she listed an impressive list of bills that have moderate Republican backers. She listed very little concrete examples of her compromising on issues.”
Lawmakers who began their Easter recess on April 10, will be headed back to D.C. on April 21, when the recess ends.