New Dem presidential candidate calls for 'spiritual awakening' in US
© Getty Images

Author and Democratic presidential hopeful Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonOvernight Energy: Top presidential candidates to skip second climate forum | Group sues for info on 'attempts to politicize' NOAA | Trump allows use of oil reserve after Saudi attacks Five top 2020 Democrats haven't committed to MSNBC climate forum Williamson urges followers to contact Senate, House over possible Bolton replacement MORE said in an interview Thursday she is running for the White House because America needs a "moral and spiritual awakening."

"We need a moral and spiritual awakening in the country," Williamson, who launched her campaign Monday in Los Angeles, said on CNN’s "New Day." "Nothing short of that is adequate to fundamentally change the patterns of our political dysfunction."

Williamson is a best-selling author and spiritual counselor to Oprah Winfrey. She said in the interview Thursday that her career has prepared her to tackle the country’s “deeper levels of moral dysfunction.”

ADVERTISEMENT

"I have had a 35-year career in naming and transforming those dynamics,” she said. “That's my qualification for the presidency.”

Williamson’s platform includes a Green New Deal, universal background checks for gun owners and free college or technical school, according to her campaign website.

In the CNN interview, she also called for reparations for slavery, with $10 billion per year to be distributed over a decade.

"I believe $100 billion given to a council to apply this money to economic projects and educational projects of renewal for that population is a debt to be paid," she said.

Williamson ran for Congress in California in 2014, but placed fourth in the primary.