Klobuchar jumps into 2020 race

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Pollster says current 2020 surveys like picking best picture Oscar before movies come out O’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation MORE (D-Minn.) on Sunday announced that she’s running for president in 2020, becoming the fifth U.S. senator to jump into the race to defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE.

Standing on a snow-covered stage in Boom Island Park in Minneapolis, where the temperatures had dipped to a freezing 14 degrees, Klobuchar announced her candidacy while invoking her family's deep roots in the Midwest, a key battleground for Democrats as they look to rebuild their blue wall in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. 

“Today on an island in the middle of the mighty Mississippi … I stand before you as the granddaughter of an iron ore miner, as the daughter of a teacher and a newspaperman, as the first woman elected to the United States Senate from the state of Minnesota, to announce my candidacy for president of the United States," Klobuchar announced to a cheering crowd of onlookers.

The three-term senator laid out her vision for the country in a number of policy areas. She pledged to "take on the gun lobby," root out corporate money in politics, commit to environmentally friendly policies, lower health care costs, restore voting rights and implement privacy protection laws.

She did not mention Trump by name, but alluded to him when she declared the country deserved better than "foreign policy by tweet."

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"Our sense of community is fracturing across our nation, worn down by the petty and vicious nature of our politics," she said. "We are tired of the shutdowns and the showdowns, of the gridlock and the grandstanding. Today, on this snowy island, we say enough is enough."

With her announcement, Klobuchar also became the second presidential candidate to hail from the Midwest.

Klobuchar has been considering a presidential campaign and was seen as signaling a likely bid when reports came out that she’ll be headlining a local Democratic banquet in Iowa on Feb. 21.

She joins a crowded field seeking the Democratic nomination in 2020, including Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bill Maher to Dems: ‘Let’s not eat our own’ in 2020 Dems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters MORE (D-N.J.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Sanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Newsom endorses Kamala Harris for president MORE (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDNC punts on measure to reduce role of corporate PAC money Bill Maher to Dems: ‘Let’s not eat our own’ in 2020 Newsom endorses Kamala Harris for president MORE (D-Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKamala Harris shopping trip stirs Twitter campaign trail debate Sanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bill Maher to Dems: ‘Let’s not eat our own’ in 2020 MORE (D-Calif.).

Other senators are still weighing 2020 bids including Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bernie Sanders records announcement video ahead of possible 2020 bid Bill Maher to Dems: ‘Let’s not eat our own’ in 2020 MORE (I-Vt.), a progressive stalwart, and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownHigh stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks Pollster says current 2020 surveys like picking best picture Oscar before movies come out Shep Smith: Signing funding bill is a 'loss' for Trump no matter how it's packaged MORE (D-Ohio), who is also touting his Rust Belt roots.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) has also announced his intention to seek the presidency and has made his ties to the Midwest a central part of his campaign.

The Democratic field for 2020 is expected to be the biggest in history — and its most diverse — reflecting a party base eager to oust Trump, but one that remains wide open as the Democratic Party continues to move farther to the left.

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In 2018, Klobuchar cruised to win a third Senate term, despite Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bernie Sanders records announcement video ahead of possible 2020 bid Overnight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants MORE barely winning Minnesota just two years earlier.

Klobuchar is expected to lean into her heartland roots and have a mild-mannered campaign approach that many dub "Minnesota nice."

“I don’t agree with, ‘When they go low, we go low,’ but I do agree that when they go low, we have to respond,” Klobuchar told The New York Times in November. She was referring to an ongoing debate among Democrats, sparked by former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaEx-W.Va. official who made racist Michelle Obama remark defrauded ,000 from FEMA: report GOP senator dedicates heart photo to wife from Senate floor for Valentine's Day Barack Obama sends Valentine's message to Michelle: 'She does get down to Motown' MORE’s “When they go low, we go high” speech from the 2016 presidential election, about how to acknowledge Republican attacks.

“But responding doesn’t mean just going down a rabbit hole everywhere Donald Trump goes," she continued. "It means doing a response but continuing to push your own agenda. I don’t think we want to use those same tactics and tweet caustic comments every morning.”

Klobuchar began 2019 with $3.9 million in her Senate campaign account, according to the most recent Federal Election Commission filings.

While she can transfer that money to her presidential campaign, Klobuchar goes in a bit behind Warren and Gillibrand, who each have north of $10 million.

Klobuchar’s nascent campaign will need to overcome some recent negative headlines about her treatment of staffers.

HuffPost reported that three potential candidates to lead her presidential campaign declined the job, citing the mistreatment of staff. 

And BuzzFeed followed up with a story about former staffers complaining about Klobuchar’s temper, accusing her of throwing papers and sending humiliating emails.

Still, several staff defended Klobuchar in the BuzzFeed report, describing her as a thoughtful and caring boss.

In her campaign announcement on Sunday, Klobuchar vowed to supporters she would be a no-nonsense president who would "lead from the heart."

"As your president, I will look you in the eye," she said. "I will tell you what I think. I will focus on getting things done."