Gillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert

Gillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandSenate Dems introduce bill to prevent Trump from using disaster funds to build wall Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Sherrod Brown pushes for Medicare buy-in proposal in place of 'Medicare for all' MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday announced she was setting up an exploratory committee for the 2020 presidential race, becoming the latest Democrat to wade into what is expected to be a crowded primary to take on President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE.

Gillibrand’s announcement came during an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” days ahead of a scheduled weekend visit to Iowa, the crucial first-in-the-nation caucus state.

“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, which is why I believe that health care should be a right and not a privilege,” Gillibrand said.

“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,” she continued. “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, 52, said she was forming an exploratory committee — a key step in a presidential campaign that allows her to begin raising crucial campaign cash and hiring staff before she formally enters the race.

Minutes after “The Late Show” released a video clip of the senator’s announcement, Gillibrand tweeted that she is “the woman for the job,” linking to a newly launched campaign website.

The New York Democrat, who was first appointed to succeed Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up McCabe's shocking claims prove the bloodless coup rolls on MORE in the Senate in 2009, has seen her national profile balloon in recent years, especially with the advent of the "Me Too" movement in 2017.

She became the first Democratic senator to call on then-Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenVirginia can be better than this Harris off to best start among Dems in race, say strategists, donors Virginia scandals pit Democrats against themselves and their message MORE (D-Minn.) to resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Gillibrand’s announcement came days after two other Democrats entered the 2020 nominating contest.

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardDNC punts on measure to reduce role of corporate PAC money NBC, CNN to host first two Democratic presidential primary debates Exclusive: Biden almost certain to enter 2020 race MORE (D-Hawaii) unveiled her presidential ambitions on Friday, telling CNN’s Van Jones in an interview that she has “decided to run” and would make a formal campaign announcement in the coming days.

A day later, Julián Castro, a former Housing and Urban Development secretary, announced during a press conference that he had decided to seek the Democratic presidential nomination. He formed a committee to explore a potential White House run last month.

Gillibrand enters the race with a higher national profile than either Castro or Gabbard, giving her an advantage in the earliest days of the 2020 election cycle.

But she’ll also have to compete against Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSenate Dems introduce bill to prevent Trump from using disaster funds to build wall Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Sherrod Brown pushes for Medicare buy-in proposal in place of 'Medicare for all' MORE (D-Mass.), another giant in Democratic politics, who announced on New Year’s Eve that she had formed an exploratory committee ahead of an expected presidential run.

What’s more, several other Democrats, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenKlobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Biden: 'The America I see does not wish to turn our back on the world' DNC chair defends debate schedule after Biden says election process starts 'too early' MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSenate Dems introduce bill to prevent Trump from using disaster funds to build wall Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Sherrod Brown pushes for Medicare buy-in proposal in place of 'Medicare for all' MORE (I-Vt.), are weighing White House bids and are expected to announce their decisions in the coming weeks.

Taken together, the slew of presidential announcements and expected announcements raise the prospect of a Democratic primary field that could include dozens of candidates divided along generational and ideological lines.