2020 Democratic presidential candidate and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar appeared before a mostly packed house inside Macky Auditorium at the University of Colorado Boulder on Saturday.
Klobuchar's appearance, officially the Molly Ivins Memorial Plenary: A Conversation with Senator Amy Klobuchar, closed out the Conference on World Affairs, which began Tuesday on the CU Boulder campus.
Klobuchar, who is part of a crowded Democratic field, is the senior U.S. senator from Minnesota and joked that Colorado and her home state have a lot in common.
"We both like the outdoors," she said. "You have a few more mountains than we do. Boulder has the museum of contemporary art. We have the world's only SPAM museum."
She said she has staked herself out as a "proven progressive."
"What that means to me is I have gotten a lot done," she said. "Hopefully, that hasn't gone out of style in American politics. For me that means you represent the people who sent you to Washington, whether that is as president or my current job."
She said she is concerned President Donald Trump is not showing good leadership because he sows division among the citizens of the country.
"He gets up every morning and tweets what he wants to," she said. "He doesn't respect the amendment that allows him to do that."
She added that the younger generation in the United States, who grew up knowing Barack Obama as president, are the most diverse generation in the history of the country. She said that they have the biggest stake in the upcoming election because of issues like protecting the environment.
"I think the issue of democracy is the one they have the most chance of changing," she said. "That's making it easier for people to vote and taking the dark money out of our politics."
Klobuchar said she has been doing a lot of town hall-style meetings and recently met with flood victims in Iowa. She went to a climate change meeting with Tampa, Fla., residents who fear their homes will be underwater in coming years because of climate change.
"This is not something that's happening in 100 years," she said. 'It's happening now."
She said that with regard to climate change, the conversation has to happen around the country. While sea levels are rising and warmer ocean temperatures cause more severe hurricanes, the middle of the country is also experiencing the effects of climate change. She spoke with a woman whose house was flooded in Iowa earlier this year, and the water came from a river 2 ½ miles away.
"If that doesn't make you believe in climate change, I don't know what will," she said.