Transcript for Amy Klobuchar talks to New Hampshire voters about reparations, immigration
Reporter: Welcome to "Around the table" where undecided voters get to ask their questions. Tonight we're meeting with Amy klobuchar. Dinner at the copper door restaurant in New Hampshire. A state where a successful primary result will be critical to her candidacy. I heard you say you can use federal ability to pay school teachers, how would you do that? Do you believe in reparations? Reporter: ABC news has chosen three undecided voters to bring their questions to the table. Lizzy, retired health care worker, who lives here in new Hampshire. Two Massachusetts voters, Leann, a teacher, and Neil, independent voter who has supported Republicans in the past. The one thing that has been said about you, that you're difficult to work for. Reporter: They will engage in a frank conversation with the senator as they will decide who will get their vote. In this moment where there's so much talk about impeachment, as undecided voters, do you guys care about that? I absolutely do. I think that the present occupant of the white house has eviscerated how many people feel about themselves. I am concerned about that, I'm concerned bill, and I want to pose a question to you, senator. How people govern and how we treat each other is huge for me, and I'm concerned about my next leader. So my question to you is, how are you going to govern, and how are you going to pick people? You have a wonderful bipartisan ability to pass bills. But you -- what I'm concerned about, the one thing that has been said about you, that you're difficult to work for. Yeah. What about your staff? If February there was an article in the "New York Times," and I do want you to speak to that. Sure, no, I'm glad you raised it. So first of all, I love my staff. There's a bunch of them out there somewhere. I know. And one of the reasons we're so successful, it's not me, it's them. And I am tough on people, and you can always be better. And I push on people. And as a result, a few of them didn't like me. But -- let me finish -- but 70 of them wrote a letter with their names. I read that. Where all different people, the schedulers, the people that were my assistants, the chiefs of staff, saying they had a really good experience in our office. So you always have that happen. But for me the key is having high standards for myself, my staff, and our country. You know, your father emigrated from India. He did. Wow. And you don't believe it should be a crime to cross the border. I don't. I know that's a radical position per se. But like I don't -- American history is predicated on like -- I think about like Ellis island, and it's like, if you didn't look sick you were allowed in. Absolutely, preach. If you're sick, they send you back because you're sick, otherwise you're welcome, you're in America now. That's how we got to where we are. Worked pretty well for a couple hundred years. Why is it becoming so much more difficult now? Senator, you see it as a crime to cross the border? I -- let me just step back I greatly want to actually expand immigration. I want to have a path to citizenship for the 12 million people that are here. So anyway, my argument would be that we need comprehensive immigration reform. There are really smart things you can do. But not if all you're trying to do is use immigrants as political pawns. My kind of tough follow-up question here, and I'm sorry -- No, it's fine. Is that we're in new Hampshire right now. It's a very, very white state. There are not many people of color here. This is a swing state. It can go for Donald Trump. In a state that's this white, how do you -- if people are scared because they're being fed fear by people in power, how do you convince people they shouldn't be scared if there's no people of color to interact with around them? Everywhere they go there are immigrants that are working in this area. I mean, there are. For sure. Much more than 10 years ago, 20 years ago. I think more and more Americans is a we travel the country see immigrants as part of our economy. I actually make an economic case that regardless of if people have immigrants in their area or not, they understand they need workers for the jobs. If you see it as a pressing need where we do need these workers in the midwest -- We need them everywhere. Yeah, I know. Then why shouldn't we establish an Ellis island type system? Where if you want to come here -- But you can do it much more smartly if you do it expanding legal immigration. Okay. I'm a black woman in America, right? I have not had the opportunity or fortunate to have the opportunity to benefit from generational wealth. Do you believe in reparations? Yes, I'm on the bill to set up this commission -- You said yes? I believe in this bill which is to set up the commission to figure out how we can do this. If there has to be a way to help been so hurt from the discrimination of the past. It may not be individual checks. It may be that we are investing in areas that have been perpetually impoverished because of this. What this bill is, it looks at what would be the best way to work on this. And that is what I think we need to do. Reporter: The conversation turns to klobuchar's uphill battle in the ever-tightening democratic field. I'm not someone that has come from a big state that's run for president before, but neither did Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter. It is a crowded field. I look at it as the glass half full, and that is that I'm ahead of 18 people that have been or were in the field and continue to make the bars, to make the debate stage, and other things. So that's what I'm doing. And I just think that someone -- we already got the loudest voice in the room, and that guy's in the white house. I don't think that's what people want. I think they're tired of the noise and the nonsense on the extremes. They want to find someone who actually wants to get things done and have their back and tell the truth. So it's on me in these next three, four months to get that out there to people, which is why we're here today. I wish every meal was like this.
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