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WATERLOO — Saying she was “all about real talk these days,” U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris came out swinging against President Donald Trump during a campaign stop in Waterloo on Monday evening.

“I know a confession when I see one,” the former prosecutor and California attorney general said. “And, frankly, someone should tell Donald Trump he has the right to remain silent. He’s basically a walking indictment in a red tie.”

Harris, who has pushed to impeach Trump since the release of Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, told the roughly 200 attendees at the UAW Local 838 hall the impeachment process was designed by the Founders to check against “this abuse of power — dare I say tyranny.”

“This is a moment that is requiring us, then, to fight for the best of who we are,” she added. “We’re up for a fight. We like a good fight. We were born out of a good fight.”

She credited her passion for fighting for justice to her parents, who she said were active in civil rights in the 1960s, and said they inspired her to become a lawyer, later district attorney for San Francisco and then attorney general for California from 2011 through 2017.

“People say, ‘Well, I don’t know if a woman, much less a woman of color, can be president of the United States,’” Harris said. “This is a conversation that is not new to me, and it’s a conversation I’ve had in every election that I’ve won.”

She told the crowd Iowa catapulted President Barack Obama to the main stage in the 2008 caucuses, and if they make that happen for her, she promised to win.

“We need someone on the debate stage who can successfully present the case against four more years of Donald Trump, and I believe a prosecutor can do that,” she said.

She said her priorities in office would be a middle class tax cut; a “Medicare for All” plan that allowed people to stay on private plans, but added hearing aids, dental and vision; universal background checks for firearms; and renewing the ban on importation of assault weapons.

She also discussed CEO pay, medical and student loan debt, the climate, mental health services, mass incarceration, reproductive health care and “soybeans rotting in bins” because of Trump’s lack of a trade deal with China.

“We need someone who will lead in a way that is about unifying the nation,” Harris said.

In the question-and-answer period, Harris said she wanted to raise the cap on Social Security, or the maximum earnings subject to Social Security taxes, to $250,000 and above — it’s currently at $132,900 — in order to help make it solvent. She also said she was in favor of financial compensation for former inmates found innocent of their crimes, and told another questioner who had lost his mother to cancer that she had also lost hers and planned to increase public funding for cancer research at the National Institutes of Health.

“You have my promise that it will be one of my highest priorities — in the name of your mother and mine,” Harris said.

Harris later joined a private family dinner at the home of Cathy Ketton, who founded Splash of Color, a community-based support group for women of color with breast cancer.

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Staff Writer

Staff writer at The Courier 2005 (college intern), 2007-2012, 2015-present. Graduate of UNI 2006. Three-time Iowa APME award winner (investigative reporting 2008, lifestyle feature 2016, business feature 2018)

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