Klobuchar jumps into 2020 race

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean Klobuchar2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan Samantha Bee slams 2020 Democrats who go on Fox News Poll: Harris, Warren climb as Biden maintains lead 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 TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' 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 Booker2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign T.I., Charlamagne Tha God advocate for opportunity zones on Capitol Hill MORE (D-N.J.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth Gillibrand2020 Democrats join striking McDonald's workers Fox News contributor Campos-Duffy compares abortion to slavery 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues MORE (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Overnight Energy: Democrats ask if EPA chief misled on vehicle emissions | Dem senators want NBC debate focused on climate change | 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan MORE (D-Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCastro swears off donations from oil, gas, coal executives Harris leads California Democrats in condemning HUD immigrant housing policy Billionaire's M gift to Morehouse grads points way to student debt solution MORE (D-Calif.).

Other senators are still weighing 2020 bids including Sens. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats join striking McDonald's workers Billionaire's M gift to Morehouse grads points way to student debt solution Poll: Nearly half of Clinton's former supporters back Biden MORE (I-Vt.), a progressive stalwart, and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Judge upholds House subpoena for Trump financial records | Trump vows to appeal ruling by 'Obama-appointed judge' | Canada, Mexico lift retaliatory tariffs on US | IRS audit rate falls Lawmakers grapple with the future of America's workforce The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Restrictive state abortion laws ignite fiery 2020 debate 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 ClintonFrustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Poll: Nearly half of Clinton's former supporters back Biden Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 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 ObamaMichelle Obama to headline Essence Festival Obama shares tribute to Michelle to celebrate Mother's Day 111-year-old woman gets free tickets to see Michelle Obama book tour 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."