CHICAGO (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar pledged Wednesday to repair the damage she says President Donald Trump has done in the international community, saying that — if elected — she would negotiate a new nuclear agreement with Iran, rejoin a global climate pact and rebuild America’s diplomatic corps and its relationships with U.S. allies.
“The Trump administration’s withdrawal from international agreements has been one of America’s biggest foreign policy blunders,” the three-term Minnesota senator said during a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. “President Trump has made us less safe and squandered America’s leadership abroad.”
Klobuchar also criticized Trump for cutting short his time at NATO’s 70th anniversary celebration in England this month after other world leaders were caught on video gossiping about him. “I’ve heard worse on the Senate floor,” she said.
In the video, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was caught talking about Trump with other leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron, prompting Trump to call Trudeau “two-faced.” Trump, who has criticized NATO members for not providing enough financial support for the organization, abruptly canceled a news conference and returned to Washington early.
“You don’t walk out just because people are making jokes about you. You don’t quit on the world,” Klobuchar said. “I don’t think that makes America great again.”
Klobuchar has been inching up in polling for the 2020 Democratic nomination, though she still trails the four top candidates: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
She has been working to sell voters on her experience as a senator and her record of winning elections in Republican areas of Minnesota as well as in Democratic strongholds, saying she is a candidate who can appeal to Republicans and independent voters she says are critical to defeating Trump.
Klobuchar said Wednesday that among her priorities as president would be strengthening the Defense Department’s cybersecurity capabilities, stopping “fear-mongering and hate” toward immigrants and refugees, and staffing up the State Department by recruiting a new generation of foreign service officers and making it possible for career diplomats forced out by the Trump administration to return.
She also said she would bring troops home from Afghanistan by the end of her first term and repeated her promise to rejoin the Paris climate agreement.
“We know a safer world is not just about what we do here at home — it is also about what we do abroad,” Klobuchar said.