WASHINGTON -- New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand formally joined the 2020 White House race on Sunday and previewed the hard line she will take against President Donald Trump by announcing a rally outside one of his signature Manhattan properties.
She had spent more than a month traveling around the country to gauge support for a run.
Her announcement that she was joining the dozen-plus candidates who want to challenge Trump came in a nearly three-minute video produced by her campaign and released early in the morning. She says the national anthem poses this question: "Will brave win?"
"Well, it hasn't always, and it isn't right now," she says. "Brave doesn't pit people against each other. Brave doesn't put money over lives. Brave doesn't spread hate. Cloud truth. Build a wall. That's what fear does."
In the video, Gillibrand says that the country needs a leader who "makes bold, brave choices" and "someone who isn't afraid of progress. That's why I'm running for president."
She said her debut speech as a candidate will come next Sunday in front of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York.
Gillibrand has been one of the most forceful critics of the Trump administration. Using the backdrop of one of Trump's marquee properties is a clear challenge to the president.
She announced her exploratory committee in January in an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." Since then, she has visited a number of states to assess political support for a White House bid.
This coming week she plans to campaign in Michigan, Iowa and Nevada, leading up to her New York kickoff.
Gillibrand has been a vocal advocate for electing more women to office, as well as combating sexual assault and violence in politics and the military.