Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announces 2020 presidential bid on “Late Show”

"I'm going to fight for other people's kids as hard as I would fight for my own," she told Stephen Colbert

By Nicole Karlis

Published January 15, 2019 8:57PM (EST)

Kirsten Gillibrand (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
Kirsten Gillibrand (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D.-NY) announced on late night television Tuesday evening that she was creating an exploratory committee for a presidential bid, hoping to challenge incumbent Donald Trump in 2020.

“I’m filing an exploratory committee for president of the United States ― tonight,” Gillibrand told host Stephen Colbert on CBS's “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”.

"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 would fight for my own," Gillibrand said, momentarily holding Colbert’s hand as she elaborated on her reasons for running. "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 grow 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."

Gillibrand told the rapt audience that her campaign would challenge systemic social problems that plague American society.

"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 the special interests that write legislation in the dead of night," Gillibrand continued. "And I know that I have the compassion, the courage and fearless determination to get that done."

Gillibrand then touted her bipartisan credentials.

“I have a bipartisan bill with nearly every Republican member of the Senate,” she said.

Gillibrand’s announcement comes shortly after Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) announced she would form her own exploratory committee on Dec. 31. Other Democrats who have thrown their hats into the ring include former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

On Tuesday, Gillibrand also released a 2-minute campaign video, “Search,” providing more insight into her background and achievements.

Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a senior writer at Salon. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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