Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) on Sunday pushed back on remarks by California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who said last week that Democrats need to do better at “getting on the offense.”
Speaking with co-anchor Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Klobuchar projected a rosy picture of Democrats’ chances of keeping the Senate in the midterms and noted she has been campaigning recently with Democratic Senate candidates in battleground states.
The exchange came after Bash played a clip of Newsom telling CBS’s Major Garrett in an interview last week that Democrats are “getting crushed on narrative.”
Newsom also said the party is “going to have to do better in terms of getting on the offense and stop being on the damn defense.”
“I think either we are ahead in these races or we are in striking distance,” Klobuchar responded on CNN.
“Look at Mark Kelly, look how well he’s doing,” she said, referring to the incumbent Democratic senator. “We’re gonna win these races. So [Newsom] can talk about all he wants out there. I’m in the middle of it.”
The California Democrat has previously hammered Democrats on messaging and in an unusual move for a Democrat launched ads in red states like Florida and Texas.
Newsom and Klobuchar are both seen as potential presidential contenders in 2024, although President Biden has indicated he plans to run for a second term, which would likely lead many Democrats to stay out of the race.
Klobuchar spoke with Bash from New Hampshire, where she is campaigning with vulnerable incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan (D).
Hassan had held a decent polling lead over her Republican opponent, retired Army Gen. Don Bolduc, near the start of the state’s general election campaign, but Bolduc has made gains in recent days as the political environment shifts toward Republicans.
Observers had seen states like Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania as the key toss-ups of the election cycle, but recent surveys show New Hampshire and Arizona’s Senate races — where Democrats are defending seats — tightening as the election approaches.
“I don’t think we’re in defense,” Klobuchar told Bash on Sunday, expressing optimism that Democrats will hold their Senate seat in Colorado and flip Pennsylvania.