Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar appeared to blame South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s rise in the polls on sexism rather than any qualifications he might have.
Klobuchar, who spoke Sunday with “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper, was responding to claims that she had suggested Buttigieg was less qualified than some of the others in the 2020 Democratic primary field. (RELATED: Impeachment Trial Or Campaign? Amy Klobuchar Tells Jake Tapper It’s ‘An Easy Question’)
Tapper began the interview by pointing out the fact that Buttigieg appeared to be the moderate candidate who was “breaking into the top tier in Iowa,” adding, “Recent comments in the New York Times suggest that you don’t believe that he is qualified to be the president. Am I reading that wrong?”
“Yes,” Klobuchar responded. “I don’t think I want to dwell on various press articles. But I’ll say this, I think any of the candidates that were on the debate stage were more qualified than the president of the United States right now.”
“So more qualified than Trump?” Tapper asked.
“Mayor Pete —” Klobuchar began.
“Do you think Buttigieg is qualified, period?” Tapper pressed.
Klobuchar went on to explain why she felt like her message was resonating and why she believed that she could bring moderate voters across the line.
As to why she felt Buttigieg was the one polling higher, she added, “The last point I made in the article — of the women on the stage, I’m focusing here on my fellow women senators, Senators Harris and Warren and myself, do I think we would be standing on that stage if we had the experience that he had? No, I don’t. Maybe we’re held to a different standard.”
But Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is where Klobuchar’s claim appears to break down. Throughout the last month, Buttigieg has consistently polled higher than both Klobuchar and California Sen. Kamala Harris, but Warren leads Buttigieg by double digits in most polls.