- Sen. Amy Klobuchar rejected calls from progressives to provide free four-year college during a New Hampshire town hall Monday night.
- The Minnesota Democrat and 2020 presidential candidate instead said she’d expand Pell Grants, help students refinance their college loans, and make two-year community colleges free.
- Klobuchar also called other agenda items from progressives, including the Green New Deal and Medicare for All, “aspirations.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar rejected calls from progressives to provide free four-year college during a New Hampshire town hall on Monday night, where she framed herself as a moderate Democrat in the 2020 presidential field.
“No, I am not for free four-year college for all,” the Minnesota lawmaker said. “If I was a magic genie and could give that to everyone, and we could afford it, I would … I’ve got to tell the truth.”
Instead, Klobuchar said she would expand Pell Grants and make it easier for students to refinance their loans. She also said she supports making two-year community colleges free.
“One of the things that I want to do is really have a big discussion in our country about kids that aren’t graduating from high school … and how we get them into the certifications, the two-year degrees, and how we make sure we’re paying for that because our economy needs that,” she said.
The senator and former prosecutor cited the growing national debt in arguing that the US can’t afford to pay for every American’s college degree.
“We have this mounting debt that the Trump administration keeps getting worse and worse. I also don’t want to leave that on the shoulders of all these we’ve got to do a balance,” she said.
Klobuchar framed herself as a moderate option in an increasingly crowded field that includes some of her most progressive colleagues in the Senate. She’s called demands from progressives for a Green New Deal and Medicare for All, the proposal to move the US toward universal coverage through an expansion of government-sponsored healthcare, “aspirations.”
The first question Klobuchar was asked during the town hall was from a woman who described herself as a “moderate Democrat with progressive leanings” seeking a Democratic nominee that “doesn’t sacrifice a moderate vision to the leftist ideologies of outspoken progressives.” The woman asked for “achievable goals that benefit minorities and the middle class now and are not pipe dreams.”
“Are you my candidate?” she asked Klobuchar.
“Yes, I am,” the senator responded.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 19, 2019