Bennet enters 2020 race

Bennet enters 2020 race
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand Bennet Biden proposes 0B housing plan Nevada caucuses open with a few hiccups Overnight Energy: EPA moves to limit financial pressure on 'forever chemical' manufacturers | California sues Trump over water order| Buttigieg expands on climate plan MORE (D-Colo.) launched his presidential bid Thursday morning, joining a crowded primary field of more than 20 contenders vying to take on President TrumpDonald John TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE in 2020.

The Colorado lawmaker announced his plans on "CBS This Morning."

"My plan is to run for president," he said, adding that he would focus on restoring opportunities for Americans and integrity in government.

“I think this country faces two enormous challenges,” he added. “One is a lack of economic mobility and opportunity for most Americans, and the other is the need to restore integrity to our government.”

“If we continue to go down the path we’re going, and this isn’t just about President Trump, it’s about the politics that existed before he got there ... we’re going to be the first generation of Americans to leave less opportunity, not more, to the next generation.” 

Bennet confirmed the announcement on Twitter.

“We cannot be the first generation to leave less to our kids, not more," he said. "That’s why I’m running for President.

“Let’s build opportunity for every American and restore integrity to our government.”  

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Bennet said in April that he would pursue the presidency if he beat his prostate cancer diagnosis. Bennet was declared cancer free later that month following a successful surgery.

The senator made headlines earlier this year when he blasted Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSteyer calls for Senate term limits to pass gun control legislation Cruz targets California governor over housing 'prescriptions' This week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime MORE (R-Texas) regarding the government shutdown in a now-viral Senate floor speech.

Bennet unloaded on Cruz after he joined other Republican lawmakers in introducing a bill to pay members of the Coast Guard during the partial shutdown but not reopen the government.

The Colorado senator, who was appointed to his seat in 2009, gained some notoriety as a member of the so-called Gang of Eight, the bipartisan group that crafted a sweeping immigration reform bill in 2013. The bill never made it to the House.

Although he has been known as a moderate for bucking Democrats on issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, Bennet has moved closer to his colleagues to the left since Trump’s election.

Bennet, the 22nd Democrat to announce he is pursuing the party's nomination, joins many of his Senate colleagues including Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThis week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Juan Williams: Black votes matter Clyburn: Biden 'suffered' from not doing 'enough' in early debates MORE (D-Calif.).

He's the second Colorado lawmaker to join the race following former Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperThe Hill's Campaign Report: What to watch for in Nevada Trump seeks to boost vulnerable GOP senator with Colorado rally Nonpartisan election forecaster moves Colorado Senate race to 'leans Democratic' MORE (D).

In 2003, Hickenlooper hired Bennet as his chief of staff when he was elected Denver mayor.

Two years later, Bennet became the superintendent of Denver Public Schools, a position he held until his appointment to the Senate.

The Republican National Committee blasted Bennet's presidential chances after his announcement.

“Michael Bennet is just another tax-and-spend liberal with no chance of becoming president," Republican National Committee communications director Michael Ahrens said in on Twitter.

"Bennet hasn't gotten anything done after more than a decade in the Senate, and unfortunately for him, the ‘unknown, no-accomplishments lane’ of the Democratic primary is already full.”

Updated at 9:04 a.m.