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Kirsten Gillibrand takes on Trump in first major speech of presidential campaign

March 24, 2019 - 4:51 pm

(NEW YORK) -- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand gave her first major speech as a Democratic presidential candidate on Sunday in front of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City, describing herself up as a courageous politician willing to take on difficult fights.

“The people of this country deserve a president worthy of your bravery…your bravery is what inspires me every day. That’s is why I’m running for president of the United States,” Gillibrand told a crowd of supporters.

Gillibrand became the latest in a crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates when she announced her candidacy last Sunday.

Speaking in front of the Trump Tower on Columbus Circle, a building she called “a shrine to breed division and vanity,” Gillibrand called the president “a coward” and attacked several of his policies including family separation at the border, the travel ban on people from majority-Muslim countries, and his ambition to build a wall along the U.S. border.

The senator added she was proud to “have stood up against Donald Trump more than anyone in the Senate,” and touted her ability to go “toe to toe” with Trump.

As the country awaits details from Robert Mueller’s investigation, Gillibrand said “the report must be made public. All of it.”

The Democrat even crossed party lines to agree with a former Republican president, saying “I don’t often agree with Richard Nixon, but he was right to say the American people have a right to know whether or not the president is a crook.”

Like other progressives in the crowded field, Gillibrand touted her support for the Green New Deal, “Medicare for All,” universal pre-k, bail reform, and a $15 minimum wage. She acknowledged that none of these fights will be easy, saying “but I’ve never backed down from a fight for what’s right, and I’m not about to start now. That is why I’m running president.”

Gillibrand also said that the U.S. should “aspire to net zero carbon emissions in the next 10 years.”

The senator will spend the night in New York after meeting with her campaign staff at their headquarters in Troy, New York, and "have a celebration dinner" before heading back to Washington D.C. on Monday.

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