Klobuchar jumps into 2020 race

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharKlobuchar fundraises for McConnell challenger: 'Two Amys are better than one' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet 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 TrumpCompeting #IStandWithPresTrump and #IStandWithIlhan hashtags divide Twitter after Trump rally 2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally Trump averages highest approval rating of his presidency in second quarter: Gallup 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."

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 BookerThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Lawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens Schumer throws support behind bill to study reparations MORE (D-N.J.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet 'Game of Thrones' scores record-breaking 32 Emmy nominations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet MORE (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally Democratic Houston councilwoman announces Senate bid Biden's health care gaffe shows he's not ready for prime time MORE (D-Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi Harris2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally Biden's health care gaffe shows he's not ready for prime time The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP MORE (D-Calif.).

Other senators are still weighing 2020 bids including Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to call on 2020 Democrats to reject money from drug, health insurance industries The hidden connection between immigration and health care: Our long-term care crisis Harris tops Biden in California 2020 poll MORE (I-Vt.), a progressive stalwart, and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment On The Money: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency | Tech giants on defensive at antitrust hearing | Democrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses Hillicon Valley: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency plan | Trump vows to 'take a look' at Google's ties to China | Google denies working with China's military | Tech execs on defensive at antitrust hearing | Bill would bar business with Huawei 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

In 2018, Klobuchar cruised to win a third Senate term, despite Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump thanks 'vicious young Socialist Congresswomen' for his poll numbers Will Trump's racist tweets backfire? Democrats fret over Trump cash machine 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 ObamaFormer Michelle Obama aide calls for 'honest conversation' about immigration Biden jokes he's ready for a pushup competition with Trump Michelle Obama calls on teachers to help students register to vote 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."