Klobuchar: I Don't Think Sanders Should Be Leading the Ticket

January 26, 2020

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) said on Sunday that fellow Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) should not be leading the ticket for her party's nomination.

Klobuchar did say that she was "ready to support the winner" but specifically named Sanders as a liability for her party's electoral chances in 2020.

"I think Senator Sanders's idea of kicking 149 million Americans off their current health insurance in four years is wrong," Klobuchar said on NBC's Meet the Press. "That's why I don't think he should be leading the ticket."

Sanders's Medicare for All proposal would abolish private health insurance and replace it with a single-payer, government-run health care system. Other 2020 contenders, including Klobuchar and former vice president Joe Biden,  have criticized Sanders's plan as a radical and costly alternative to the current regime, or to the "public option" approach preferred by Biden.

In an interview on Friday night, CBS anchor Norah O'Donnell accused Sanders of not knowing the true cost of his program. "You don't know," Sanders replied. "Nobody knows. This is hard to predict." Last year, Sanders said his Medicare for All plan would cost $40 trillion over ten years, but added that his plan is cheaper than Biden's. He has consistently justified the cost by arguing that most Americans will see a net gain from no longer having to pay insurance premiums.

Medicare for All has over the course of this election cycle proved a thorn in the side for Democrats running in moderate districts.  Missouri House contender Jill Schupp recently backed off of her support for Medicare for All after pushing for the policy in 2012.

Sanders currently trails Biden by less than a percentage point in the RealClearPolitics polling average for Iowa. Klobuchar is in fifth place.