© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News Partners

Sen. Klobuchar: Trump Displayed Outlawish Instincts During Debate

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene in Orlando, Fla., one of the divided states we've been visiting. A Trump campaign volunteer here, Gwendolyn Rendleman (ph), watched last night's debate with other volunteers at Orlando's Friendly Confines bar. She wore a blue make America great again hat.

GWENDOLYN RENDLEMAN: I loved it. I think he did very well, you know? He knows exactly what needs to be done. He says the vets need to be taken care of. The military needs to be built up. Pay to play, Hillary Clinton needs to be put in jail.

GREENE: OK. The assessment was different at a NASCAR-themed restaurant where Rez Hawk (ph) joined other Hillary Clinton supporters.

REZ HAWK: I thought Hillary clearly won. I felt that she was more prepared. She knew what she was talking about. And she didn't resort to insults like the candidate running against her.

GREENE: And we heard a similar divide when putting questions to political pros.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That's right. Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar was supporting Clinton in Las Vegas.

Let me ask about a headline moment in this debate, Senator, in which Donald Trump said that he would tell us at the time if he would accept the results of the election because he's been claiming that the election is rigged. You can understand why Secretary Clinton pushed back forcefully and said that was challenging the nature of our democracy. But the results aren't in. Why should he accept the results before they're in?

AMY KLOBUCHAR: As the former prosecutor who enforced these election laws, I can tell you that the incidences of fraud are very small in our elections. So this was really the signature moment of this debate where you could see these outlawish (ph) instincts of his come out in full force, where he said, in his coy way, well, I'll leave you in suspense. This is not what you say when you want to be a leader of America.

INSKEEP: What was that word you just used, senator, outlawish instincts?

KLOBUCHAR: Outlawish instincts, which he has shown before. And I think Secretary Clinton did a beautiful job of pointing out how whenever he gets down, he says things are rigged. And she used examples of the Republican primary, the example of the Emmy Awards. And he now is playing this game in the real world, not a reality TV show, and that is with the biggest election really in the world, the American election for president.

INSKEEP: One other thing that Donald Trump raised had to do with Secretary Clinton's emails and her handling of classified information. He specifically brought up a retired general, General Cartwright, who pleaded guilty just the other day to lying to the FBI as part of an FBI investigation of classified information. His suggestion was that there's a double standard there because this guy pleaded guilty and Secretary Clinton didn't have to. Could you explain why you think that isn't a double standard?

KLOBUCHAR: The director of the FBI, Jim Comey, who, by the way, came out of a Republican administration when he was U.S. attorney, he has said that while he clearly didn't agree with some of the ways she conducted having the private server in the email system, that it did not amount to a case that he would bring the Justice Department.

But I think the bigger context here is the fact that you have to look at the records of these two candidates. You have someone in Secretary Clinton with 30 years of experience. And then you have in Donald Trump - I think one of the things I most remember from the discussion was when she said when they were in the situation room deciding whether to go after Osama bin Laden, he was doing "Celebrity Apprentice"...

INSKEEP: Forgive me, if I can. I mean, that was a strong line at the debate. But the actual question here had to do with the perception of a double standard. What do you say to somebody who sees a double standard there, that Secretary Clinton wasn't punished?

KLOBUCHAR: I believe in our laws and in our justice system. And in one case - and I am not familiar with all the details of the general's case - but in one case an actual case was brought. It rose to the level of bringing a case whether you agree with it or not. In the case of Hillary Clinton, the director of the FBI, that looked carefully at this, did not believe that what she did, while as she had said was not a prudent way to conduct business - but it did not amount to a criminal case. That to me is the difference.

INSKEEP: Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, thanks very much.

KLOBUCHAR: Well, it was great to be on. Thanks, Steve. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.