NEW YORK – New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand delivered a speech Sunday in front of Trump International Hotel, kicking off her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination after formally joining the race earlier this month.
“The people of this country deserve a president worthy of your bravery,” Gillibrand said. “A president who not only sets an example, but follows yours. Your bravery inspires me every day, and that is why I’m running for president of the United States.”
Gillibrand’s campaign event in New York followed her announcement a week ago officially declaring her candidacy and her announcement in January that she was forming an exploratory committee.
At Sunday’s event, Gillibrand referred to the Trump building next to her as “a shrine to greed, division and vanity,” and criticized President Donald Trump at length, calling him a “coward.”
“He demonized the vulnerable, and he punches down,” she said. “He puts his name in bold on every building. He does all of this because he wants you to believe he is strong. He is not. Our President is a coward.”
After her invocation of Trump and formal declaration of her candidacy, Gillibrand went through a raft of policy priorities and called for major progressive initiatives, including establishing “universal pre-K,” national paid leave, “Medicare for All” and passing a “Green New Deal.”
Returning throughout the speech to the theme of bravery, Gillibrand hailed “DREAMers,” sexual assault survivors and the LGBTQ community as she contrasted her calls for bravery with what she contended Trump represented.
As a senator, Gillibrand has been a vocal critic of Trump and regularly voted against his nominees. Nodding to her track record during Trump’s tenure, Gillibrand counted herself on Sunday as the person who had “stood up to Donald Trump more than anyone else in the US Senate.”
And in reference to the recent conclusion of the special counsel investigation by former FBI Director Robert Mueller, Gillibrand called for the public release of Mueller’s full report.
“Nobody in this country, not even the President, is above the law or immune from accountability,” Gillibrand said.