GOP senators praised the Minnesota Democrat for her deal-cutting ways — even as they worried it could doom her presidential bid.
Amy Klobuchar has an unusual constituency behind her as she launches her run for president: Senate Republicans.
In a Democratic caucus filled with presidential hopefuls taking a hard line against Donald Trump’s presidency, the Minnesota senator’s brand of pragmatic politics stands out. And numerous Republicans are raving about Klobuchar — her personality, her respect for the other party, even her competitiveness in a general election.
In fact, a dozen GOP senators were so effusive in interviews this month that some worried they might damage her candidacy in a Democratic nomination fight that has many candidates embracing the party’s left flank.
“I hope I’m not condemning her nascent run for the presidency,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) as he praised Klobuchar. “She’s too reasonable, too likable, too nice.”
“She wants to achieve a solution and I would hope that’s not a disqualifying thing for someone who would like to be president,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who runs the Senate Rules Committee with Klobuchar. “I like her a lot and hope that’s not harmful to her.”
The three-term senator is certainly no Joe Manchin. Klobuchar reliably votes with her party when it comes to big issues like abortion and immigration. She’s embraced progressives’ ambitious “Green New Deal” and is rarely a headache for Democratic leadership. But she’s also established herself as someone who can cut deals with Republicans and occasionally tacks to the center. It’s a combination that that could give her a boost among primary voters seeking a candidate with bipartisan bona fides if it doesn’t doom her with a party moving quickly to the left.
In a brief interview Klobuchar made clear that she doesn’t compromise just for compromise’s sake but acknowledged it’s something she actively seeks out as a senator.
“Oftentimes I’ll stand my ground,” she said. “But if I can find common ground to get something done, I do.”
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