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Amy Klobuchar pressed on ‘booming’ economy on Fox News town hall

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar tells a Knoxville, Iowa, Sunday, Feb. 17, soup lunch crowd why she should be president. It came a week after she announced she was running. Don Davis / Forum News Service

Amy Klobuchar’s toughest questioning on live national TV Wednesday evening came early and focused on the economy.

Minnesota’s senior U.S. senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate appeared at a town hall-style Fox News event in Milwaukee.

Minutes into the event, an audience member asked: “How do you plan to keep the economy booming?”

It led to a series of exchanges and follow-up questions with Fox co-anchors Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier that lasted more than 7 minutes — a duration that appeared to be the longest time spent on any one topic.

Klobuchar several times tried to redirect the conversation to practiced policy points, and gave at-times contradictory responses but appeared to be making this case: The economy was headed this way before President Donald Trump took office, but isn’t necessarily all that great right now.

“A lot of people aren’t sharing in the economy that we’ve seen here, and while there are jobs out there, and we know that, it’s become harder and harder for people to afford health care,” she responded, in part, before listing off infrastructure, job training, immigration reform, racial injustice, and climate change among what she described as economic issues that Trump “hasn’t been grappling with” because he “governs by chaos.”

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Baier underscored the importance of the economy question for Klobuchar, as well as all Democrats. Ticking off a list of healthy economic statistics, he asked: “What do you say to people — voters in this state — who look at those numbers and say, ‘You know what? I can handle that chaos’?”

Klobuchar responded: “You go out there and talk to real people, and they tell you they are not sharing in this prosperity. There are some people that have done really well.”

MacCallum and Baier pressed further, noting that corporations have welcomed Republican corporate tax cuts and many Americans in the middle class saw income tax cuts.

Emphasizing that she would keep some middle-class tax benefits, Klobuchar said the corporate tax rate was lowered too much. She concluded it this way: “I’m telling you, we’re not going to be able to keep on this track. … When you are at a time of prosperity in a country — or at least I will say stability — you have to make sure it works for everyone. That is what made America great.”