Klobuchar: Democrats ‘have to debate’ before Iowa caucuses despite Senate impeachment trial

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Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSunday shows preview: 2020 race heats up as impeachment moves to Senate Klobuchar faces make-or-break Iowa sprint after strong debate Claire McCaskill: Young girls ‘are now aspiring’ to be like Warren, Klobuchar after debate MORE (D-Minn.) said Sunday that the Democratic White House hopefuls must debate again before the Iowa caucuses despite a looming Senate impeachment trial that would involve her and a handful of her 2020 primary opponents.

“I have made it very clear that there should be no excuses,” Klobuchar said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“I’m ready to debate at midnight if that’s what we have to do. We have to have a debate before the Iowa caucuses.”

Klobuchar said it’s her “first belief” that Democrats “have to have the debate” before Iowans choose a candidate. She said the debate may have to take place between trial proceedings to ensure the senators in the race can participate.

The next debate is set for Jan. 14, less than a month before the February 3 caucuses.

But the Senate impeachment trial will likely fill the first month of the year. The House voted in favor of two articles of impeachment last week, but Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump blasts ‘unfair’ impeachment, ‘extreme leftists’ in speech to young conservatives Sunday shows preview: 2020 race heats up as impeachment moves to Senate Global health is the last bastion of bipartisan foreign policy MORE (D-Calif.) has yet to transmit the articles to the upper chamber, as Senate leaders decide on parameters for the trial.

The Democratic National Committee raised the qualification requirements for the January debate. Candidates need at least 5 percent support in at least four approved polls that can be either national or based in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada.

Candidates can also qualify by reaching at least 7 percent support in two single-state polls in the first four primary or caucus states.

They must also gather 225,000 unique donors and at least 1,000 unique donors per state in at least 20 U.S. states, territories or Washington, D.C.

Klobuchar’s comments come after a boost in her campaign after what was largely seen as a strong performance in Thursday’s debate.

Klobuchar raised more than $1 million in donations in 24 hours after the debate.

During the debate, Klobuchar took on top-tier candidates Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2020 candidates send support after Biden press secretary diagnosed with lung cancer Trump blasts ‘unfair’ impeachment, ‘extreme leftists’ in speech to young conservatives Buttigieg “wine cave” event attendee details the fundraiser in new op-ed MORE (D-Mass.) and South Bend., Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul Buttigieg2020 candidates send support after Biden press secretary diagnosed with lung cancer Hospital opposition to state health care reforms foreshadows challenges for Congress Buttigieg “wine cave” event attendee details the fundraiser in new op-ed MORE as the Minnesota senator tries to break through in the crowded field.

–This report was updated at 12:03 p.m.

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