WATERLOO — Declaring "we are better than this," U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris told a crowd of supporters Friday that she is ready for "the fight to get Donald Trump out of the White House."
The California senator and Democratic presidential candidate added, "And I tell you, we will win."
She spoke at an afternoon town hall meeting downtown at the Black's Building. Earlier, she greeted residents and had lunch at Salt-N-Pepper on Broadway Street. Later in the day, she was in Cedar Falls at Maucker Union on the University of Northern Iowa campus.
She attended events in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines Friday and Saturday nights.
Harris is one of about 20 Democrats vying for the nomination to face Trump in the 2020 presidential election. But first they've got to get through the Iowa caucuses Feb. 3, which are bringing many candidates to the state to campaign.
The former prosecutor talked about her work against various injustices and said she brings the same ethic to the quest for the presidency. "I have a track record of fighting for families, for students and communities -- and winning," she said.
Trump, she suggested, "betrayed working families and working people" with a tax cut that benefits the nation's biggest corporations most. Harris said "he betrayed our values as Americans" by separating immigrant children from their families.
In response to a question from the audience, Harris said she would "hold families together rather than separate them" as they go through the immigration system.
Harris highlighted her efforts to reach across the aisle in Congress by co-sponsoring bills with Republicans. She would work to restore a bipartisan culture in Washington as president, as well.
"We have to see that we have so much more in common than what separates us," said Harris, suggesting the current political divisions are only causing harm. "It's making us weaker as a nation."
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Asked about the state's Medicaid privatization, she noted, "I've actually spoken out about Iowa's approach to this. It's wrong."
Talking about her "3 a.m. agenda," Harris said worries if a family member will be able to pay for medical insurance or be able to fill a prescription are some of what keeps people awake at night. "One in four Americans with diabetes cannot afford their insulin," she noted.
Harris is proposing a "Medicare for all" plan that will provide access to public health insurance for anyone, but not force people to take it.
"My plan says I'm not taking away your choice. You can have a public or a private plan," she said.
"That's a strong point for me," said Larry Throndson of New Hampton, who was at the town hall meeting with his wife, Darlene.
"I favor a public option," he noted, but likes her plan, which says "if you have health care, keep it."
Throndson said Harris is the first candidate the couple has seen. "She's a very impressive lady, she has a great resume," he said, but they're planning to make it to events for other candidates, as well.
"We're testing the waters, we're seeing what's out there," he added.
Two other candidates will be in Waterloo Sunday. Democratic presidential hopeful and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg will return to Waterloo for a rally at 7 p.m. at the downtown RiverLoop Amphitheatre. Presidential candidate and former El Paso, Texas, U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke will visit Jubilee United Methodist Church Resource Center, 1621 E. Fourth St., at 12:30 p.m.