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Klobuchar is ending her presidential bid, will endorse Biden

In this Oct. 18, 2019, photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaks to local residents at a campaign event on the start of her bus tour in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Move comes before Minnesota votes on Super Tuesday.

Posted: Mar 2, 2020 12:39 PM
Updated: Mar 2, 2020 2:53 PM

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar ended her Democratic presidential campaign on Monday and plans to endorse rival Joe Biden in an effort to unify moderate voters behind the former vice president's White House bid.

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She is flying to Dallas and plans to join Biden at his rally Monday night, according to her campaign.

Klobuchar was the third presidential candidate to drop out of the race in less than 49 hours, following Pete Buttigieg’s departure late Sunday and Tom Steyer's exit late Saturday. Their decisions reflect an urgent push among moderates to consolidate behind Biden as a counter to progressive rival Bernie Sanders.

Klobuchar outlasted several better-known and better-funded Democrats, thanks to a better-than-expected third-place finish in in New Hampshire. But she couldn't turn that into success elsewhere, as she struggled to build out a campaign that could compete across the country and had poor showings in the next contests.

The three-term senator had one of this cycle's more memorable campaign launches, standing outside in a Minnesota snowstorm last February to tout her “grit” and Midwestern sensibilities. Klobuchar argued that her record of getting things done in Washington and winning even in Republican parts of her state would help her win traditionally Democratic heartland states like Wisconsin and Michigan that flipped in 2016 to give Donald Trump the presidency.

She was hoping to own the moderate lane of a Democratic field that grew to some two dozen candidates. But that got much tougher when Biden joined the race in April, starting as a front-runner and remaining there. Klobuchar also was quickly overshadowed by Buttigieg, a fellow Midwesterner who shot from being the largely unknown mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to a top contender on a mix of intelligence, strong oratory and youthful optimism. Buttigieg dropped out on Sunday, saying he no longer had a viable path to the nomination. He also plans to endorse Biden and appear with him at Monday night's rally, according to two people familiar with his decision who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about it.

Klobuchar entered the race with low name recognition compared with many of her rivals, a disadvantage she was still citing a year into her campaign. Outside Minnesota, the lawyer and former prosecutor was best known for her questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during a 2018 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Klobuchar asked Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexually assaulting a fellow teenager when both were in high school, if he ever had so much to drink that he didn't remember what happened. Kavanaugh retorted, “Have you?” Klobuchar continued, unruffled, and Kavanaugh later apologized to the senator, whose father is recovering from alcoholism.

Even before she got into the race, Klobuchar was hit with news stories claiming she mistreated her Senate staff, and she had a higher-than-usual turnover rate in her office. Klobuchar said she is a “tough boss” but countered that she has several longtime employees, including the manager of her presidential campaign.

She also face questions over her prosecutor past. In January, The Associated Press published a story about Klobuchar's office in Minneapolis having prosecuted the case of a black teenager accused of the 2002 shooting death of an 11-year-old girl. Klobuchar has cited the story to show her toughness on crime. But an AP/APM Reports investigation uncovered new evidence and myriad inconsistencies, raising questions about whether Myon Burrell was railroaded by police. The issue followed Klobuchar on the campaign trail, with protesters forcing her to cancel a rally in suburban Minneapolis days before Super Tuesday.

Klobuchar campaigned on her productivity in Washington, where she led more than 100 bills that were signed into law. And she criticized the more liberal candidates in the field, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Sanders, for running on promises she said they couldn't keep.

Rather than advocate for “Medicare for All,” for example, Klobuchar favored expanding the Affordable Care Act and working to reduce prescription drug costs — changes she said had a chance of passing and would make a significant impact. She supported making community colleges free but said she wouldn't promise to do the same for four-year colleges and universities because the U.S. cannot afford it.

“I've got to tell the truth,” she said during a CNN town hall at a college campus, where she acknowledged her position may be unpopular with younger voters.

Klobuchar was one of the first candidates to outline a plan for addressing addiction and mental health, an issue she described as personal because of her father's longtime struggle. Her accounts of growing up with a father suffering from alcoholism and watching him be forced to choose between prison or treatment were some of the most compelling moments of speeches, interviews and discussions with voters. Klobuchar said that her father described getting help as being “pursued by grace” and that it's an opportunity all people fighting addiction deserve.

But Klobuchar couldn't match her top competitors in fundraising. She raised about $11 million in the last quarter of 2019 — roughly half of what Sanders and Buttigieg received. The lack of finances early on in the campaign meant Klobuchar wasn't able to expand her operation on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire until months after her rivals. She then scrambled to put an operation in place in Nevada, South Carolina and the 14 states that will vote on Super Tuesday.

Still, there were bright spots, including strong debate performances that helped bring in new donors. Her campaign credited Klobuchar's showing in a debate days before the New Hampshire primary with helping her clinch a better-than-expected third place in the state's primary, topping Warren and Biden. Klobuchar said she raised $12 million in the next week.

During one debate she addressed sexism in the campaign, questioning whether a woman with Buttigieg's experience would qualify for the stage. She also pushed back at fears of a female candidacy, saying, “If you think a woman can’t beat Donald Trump, (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi does it every day.”

In January, she earned endorsements from The New York Times, which also endorsed Warren, and the Quad-City Times, one of Iowa's largest newspapers. But Klobuchar was sidelined for much of the last few weeks before the Iowa caucuses when she — along with fellow candidates Warren, Sanders and Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado — was stuck in Washington for the Senate impeachment trial.

She continued to rack up endorsements even as her campaign struggled, getting the backing of newspapers including the Houston Chronicle, The Seattle Times and the New Hampshire Union Leader.

 

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 453808

Reported Deaths: 6131
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin941381495
Ramsey40509748
Dakota33463350
Anoka31283368
Washington20471234
Stearns18051190
St. Louis13916247
Scott1213098
Wright11756107
Olmsted1073975
Sherburne827868
Carver703139
Clay657684
Rice621170
Kandiyohi556772
Blue Earth546833
Crow Wing489178
Otter Tail463167
Chisago458138
Benton423288
Winona394248
Douglas378466
Nobles374447
Mower372129
Goodhue355362
Polk330660
McLeod327947
Beltrami315048
Morrison314145
Lyon304738
Becker288839
Itasca287143
Isanti284842
Carlton283543
Steele278510
Pine269614
Freeborn253623
Todd233130
Nicollet227938
Brown217434
Mille Lacs215045
Le Sueur213516
Cass210524
Meeker201233
Waseca192816
Wabasha17413
Martin171726
Roseau166317
Hubbard150238
Redwood141027
Houston139814
Dodge13864
Renville138040
Chippewa132332
Cottonwood128918
Fillmore12646
Wadena120218
Rock111912
Aitkin111233
Sibley10947
Faribault108816
Watonwan10688
Pennington101016
Kanabec99318
Pipestone96423
Yellow Medicine94916
Murray9096
Jackson87310
Swift84418
Pope7465
Stevens7078
Marshall70315
Clearwater68714
Lake66315
Lac qui Parle66016
Wilkin6349
Koochiching60310
Lincoln4892
Big Stone4693
Unassigned44568
Grant4388
Norman4258
Mahnomen4147
Kittson37320
Red Lake3204
Traverse2613
Lake of the Woods1961
Cook1150

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 310915

Reported Deaths: 4432
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk46760465
Linn18037279
Scott15838172
Black Hawk14076243
Woodbury13111181
Johnson1228552
Dubuque11615159
Pottawattamie9146115
Dallas907772
Story879438
Cerro Gordo472572
Webster472077
Sioux459657
Warren458039
Clinton457768
Marshall430762
Buena Vista396230
Muscatine395878
Des Moines394943
Plymouth352870
Wapello349898
Jasper331659
Lee324132
Marion308953
Jones274650
Henry267331
Carroll258234
Bremer249848
Crawford234324
Washington222933
Boone222717
Benton213050
Mahaska197637
Jackson194932
Tama190159
Dickinson188329
Kossuth178544
Delaware176036
Clay172021
Wright166624
Fayette165924
Hamilton162230
Buchanan162024
Winneshiek160820
Harrison158162
Hardin156931
Cedar155519
Clayton153849
Butler150924
Page146415
Floyd141436
Cherokee140027
Mills138517
Lyon137533
Poweshiek134924
Hancock131524
Allamakee130930
Iowa127722
Madison123610
Calhoun12349
Grundy122528
Jefferson122125
Winnebago121729
Mitchell116837
Louisa116230
Cass114843
Chickasaw113712
Appanoose112440
Sac112015
Emmet111232
Union111023
Humboldt106619
Shelby105427
Guthrie104224
Franklin103318
Unassigned10110
Palo Alto91711
Montgomery88324
Keokuk86326
Howard85519
Monroe82220
Clarke8108
Pocahontas78111
Ida75930
Davis70121
Greene6977
Adair69620
Monona67018
Lucas66610
Osceola64711
Worth6184
Taylor5999
Fremont5246
Van Buren50215
Decatur4964
Ringgold44811
Audubon4218
Wayne41921
Adams2993
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