Tonight on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will announce that she’s forming an exploratory committee to run for president in 2020. The Late Show released a clip of her interview ahead of the broadcast.
“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,” Gillibrand told Colbert in the clip. “That’s why I believe that healthcare should be a right and not a privilege. That’s why I believe that we should have better public schools for our kids because it shouldn’t matter what block you grow up on.”
“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 to the middle class,” she added.
But you are never going to accomplish any of those things if you don’t take on the systems of power that make all of that impossible... which is taking on institutional racism; it’s taking on the corruption and greed in Washington; it’s taking on the special interests that write legislation in the dead of night. And I know that I have the compassion, the courage, and the fearless determination to get that done.
According to NBC, Gillibrand has been hiring campaign staff and is planning a trip to Iowa this weekend. A campaign official told NBC that the campaign will “focus on her as an advocate for families and the disadvantaged, a leader on transparency in politics, and a fierce opponent of President Donald Trump.” The official “also stressed the senator’s electability and appeal to moderates.”
Gillibrand, who grew up in upstate New York, has served in Congress since 2007, and as a Senator since 2009, when she took over Hillary Clinton’s seat after Clinton was appointed by President Obama to be his Secretary of State.
In recent polls, Gillibrand had less name recognition and lower favorability ratings than other 2020 candidates. An early NBC poll of Iowa caucus-goers found that 55 percent hadn’t yet formed an opinion on her, while 35 percent viewed her favorably. In comparison, 64 percent were favorable to Elizabeth Warren, who announced her own exploratory committee on New Year’s Eve.