WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Amy Klobuchar, acting as President Obama’s defender Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” stood up for the president on his immigration agenda, his outwardly cheerful demeanor while meeting with Venezuela’s president Friday, and his decision to release the so-called torture memos.
Paired against Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., Klobuchar said that immigration was “worth discussing” this year despite the other issues that have consumed Washington since January.
When asked about pictures of Obama smiling and joking with Hugo Chavez at the Summit of the Americas, Ensign replied that he felt it was “irresponsible for the president to be seen kind of laughing and joking with” him.
But Klobuchar downplayed the moment. “All the president did was shake his hand just like George Bush,” she said.
“When President Obama has talked about reaching out to people, so we at least, we are talking to our enemies,” Klobuchar continued. “It’s sure a lot better way to go than we did in the last eight years.”
Klobuchar also laid out her reasons for why she believes the administration did not make a mistake by releasing the torture memos.
“First of all, these memos, the things that were contained in these memos, are already in the public eye,” Klobuchar said. “We have heard countless reports about these kinds of tortures. Everyone knew that waterboarding had been going on, and the administration admitted that it was going on.”
And, on the open Senate seat, here’s an excerpt from the transcript of Klobuchar’s comments:
“Well, all right, first of all, I would say this, and that is that Norm Coleman has a right to pursue his appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. But Minnesota also has a right to two senators. This has been going on for months now. Since December, our staff, I’m so proud of them, they’ve had double the case work. Everything from veterans benefits cases to people who have lost their Social Security checks to people who are trying to adopt babies in Guatemala that are stalled out.
“Minnesota has that right to two senators. I’m hopeful the Minnesota Supreme Court is going to move very quickly on this. The law actually says in Minnesota that they have to set aside their other work.
“Now, I had predicted this would be resolved when the ice melted on Lake Minnetonka, John. And the three-judge ruling came out, 42 minutes, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources declared the ice had melted.
“Now I predict this will be done when Minnesotans are allowed to swim in our lakes, which is Memorial weekend.”
To read the full transcript, go here.