Gillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert

Gillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOvernight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Overnight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Trump's 2020 campaign strategy is to be above the law 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 TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally 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 ClintonFive takeaways from Trump's 2020 kickoff rally Five takeaways from Trump's 2020 kickoff rally Trump jokes he'd get 'electric chair' if he deleted even one 'love note' email to Melania 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 FrankenThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Mexican officials scramble to avoid Trump tariffs The Hill's 12:30 Report: Mexican officials scramble to avoid Trump tariffs The Hill's Morning Report - Tariff battle looms as Trump jabs 'foolish' Senate GOP 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 GabbardJuan Williams: Trump's incredible shrinking GOP Juan Williams: Trump's incredible shrinking GOP Overnight Defense: Trump doubles down on claim Iran attacked tankers | Iran calls accusations 'alarming' | Top nuke official quietly left Pentagon | Pelosi vows Congress will block Saudi arms sale 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 WarrenSanders tears into Trump in response to campaign kickoff rally Sanders tears into Trump in response to campaign kickoff rally Warren introduces universal child care legislation 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 BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from Trump's 2020 kickoff rally Five takeaways from Trump's 2020 kickoff rally Sanders tears into Trump in response to campaign kickoff rally MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive takeaways from Trump's 2020 kickoff rally Five takeaways from Trump's 2020 kickoff rally Sanders tears into Trump in response to campaign kickoff rally 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.