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Trump Calls Clinton's Message Old And Tired; Clinton Ally Responds

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Yesterday, Donald Trump took to the podium to savage Hillary Clinton. This came on the heels of Clinton's own speech attacking Donald Trump's economic policies. Trump went after Clinton on her foreign policy record, her trade policies and her ethical judgment.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DONALD TRUMP: She doesn't have the temperament, the judgment to be president. She believes...

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: She believes she's entitled to the office.

GREENE: Now, just after Trump's speech, we chatted with Amy Klobuchar. She's the Democratic senator from Minnesota and a Clinton supporter.

So Donald Trump is out there saying that Hillary Clinton's message is old and tired. What's new about it?

AMY KLOBUCHAR: Hillary Clinton is talking about the future for our country. She is talking about, first of all, looking at how our companies operate. And so many of them operate for the short term. She is talking about the long term in terms of changing the tax code so there's incentives, whether it's profit sharing for employees and other things because a lot of that has been driving these short-term decisions. And to me that is new, and that is fresh. You look at what she's been saying about immigration reform and how it's going to be a top priority when she gets in. We haven't had someone talking about guns and willing to have the courage to talk out about guns long before the massacre in Orlando.

GREENE: Although people have been talking about guns and immigration for some time now. I mean, that's something...

KLOBUCHAR: They haven't made it some of their top priorities in a presidential campaign.

GREENE: Senator, let me ask you about a line that Donald Trump has used for Hillary Clinton, calling her crooked Hillary. And he attacked her and also the Clinton Foundation for taking money from foreign governments with some pretty awful human rights records. I mean, why shouldn't voters question Secretary Clinton's judgment if she is indeed president, you know, especially if those countries are involved in those decisions?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, first of all, you look at the Clinton Foundation, 89 percent of the money that it brought in went to charitable causes, brought down the cost of malaria drugs, nearly 10 million people access to its treatments that they didn't have before. So I think you have to look at things as a whole. And then you look at her record as a whole of secretary of state, the human rights that she has fought for throughout her life, her groundbreaking speech - women's rights are human rights. Human rights are women's rights. And you look at those track records as a whole.

GREENE: But...

KLOBUCHAR: And of course he's...

GREENE: But if I may, senator, I mean, voters don't always look at the whole. And they're not, you know, always responsible to look at the whole. And Donald Trump has brought up some very big specifics. And let me just take you through one. I mean, he brought up the country of Brunei, this small country near Malaysia. He said their government has a harsh policy of stoning gay people to death. He said this is a government that's given millions to the Clinton Foundation. It's a country that could benefit from the trans-pacific trade deal that President Obama has supported. I mean, as an opposing candidate puts together a narrative like this, why shouldn't voters, you know, hear that and worry?

KLOBUCHAR: She has an impeccable record when it comes to gay rights, when it comes to human rights. I would just ask people to look at that. And the specifics involving our diplomacy across the world is something that you always have to balance. And you have to balance working with a region, working with some countries and trying to get them to the point of human rights by carrots and sticks.

GREENE: But more broadly, not even about one specific, I mean, what what can you say to convince voters that if, you know, the Clinton Foundation has accepted money from countries - she's going to be making decisions about countries as president - I mean, why are you convinced she will be able to separate those things and, you know, have sound judgment that has nothing to do with money that's coming to her foundation?

KLOBUCHAR: Because of my own personal experience with her. I saw her operate as secretary of state. And every country you do business with, there's something you don't agree with them on. You may not agree with them on how they pay people. You may not agree with them about how they treat a neighboring nation. You may not agree with them on some very serious human rights problems. And your job is to balance all of that and try to work with them on how they make changes.

GREENE: Let me finish with this question for you. Your home state of Minnesota has been home to several vice presidents - Walter Mondale, Hubert Humphrey, something you have spoken about before. Could this be a sign that there's another one coming in that you might be considered as a vice presidential nominee with Hillary Clinton?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, I am honored to even have that mentioned. But honestly, I love my job now. And I think she has a great list of people that she's considering. And so my goal right now is to help her get elected, to move this country forward and to continue my focus on Minnesota.

GREENE: Is America ready for two women on the ticket?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, if you look at the past, we have a very strong history in this country of single-gender president-vice president tickets. In fact, it is the only combo that has won.

GREENE: (Laughter) Very good point, senator. Senator Amy Klobuchar, the Democratic senator from the state of Minnesota, thanks so much for your time.

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.