Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is officially in the presidential race — here's why she says she wants to run

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is officially in the presidential race — here's why she says she wants to run
CBS

On Tuesday evening, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) appeared on The Late Show and told Stephen Colbert she is doing what many people had already suspected she would.


"I'm filing an exploratory committee for president of the United States tonight," said Gillibrand, to uproarious applause from the studio audience.

"I'm going to run for president of the United States because as a young mom, I'm going to fight for other people's kids as hard as I fight for my own," she continued. "Which is why I believe that health care should be a right and not a privilege. It's why I believe we should have better public schools for our kids, because it shouldn't matter what block you grew up on. And I believe that anybody who wants to work hard enough should be able to get whatever job training they need to earn their way into the middle class. But you are never going to accomplish any of these things if you don't take on the systems of power that make all of that impossible, which is taking on institutional racism, it's taking on the corruption and greed in Washington, taking on special interests that write legislation in the dead of night. And I know that I have the compassion, the courage, and the fearless determination to get that done."

Watch below:

Gillibrand joins a rapidly crowding field of Democrats itching to take on President Donald Trump, that already includes Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), former San Antonio mayor and Housing Secretary Julián Castro, and former West Virginia state Sen. Richard Ojeda. Also in varying degrees of toying with a run, but not yet actually declared, are former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT), former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

With the sheer quantity of competition, Gillibrand will have a challenge standing out — but she has a fair amount going for her. She has built a reputation in the Senate for standing up for victims of sexual violence. She has the most consistently anti-Trump voting record of any senator, rejecting his agenda 88 percent of the time, and was one of the first sitting lawmakers to call on Trump to resign — a rebuke for which Trump made a weird sexual remark about her.

The 2020 primary season is already in full swing ... but the quest to dethrone Trump has only just begun.

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