One of the only consistencies of American politics in 2019 is that more or less every week a new Democrat has announced they’re running for president. The latest to do so is Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), who made it official Monday morning. He’s the 19th Democrat to officially announce their 2020 candidacy.
“I’m running because I’m a patriot, because I believe in this country and because I’ve never wanted to sit on the sidelines when it comes to serving it,” he said on Good Morning America. “That’s why I joined the Marines, it’s why I ran for Congress to try to prevent what I saw that got us into Iraq from happening again, and it’s why I’m running to take on the most divisive president in American history, to bring this country back together.”
Rep. @sethmoulton tells @GStephanopoulos he is running for president "because I'm a patriot, because I believe in this country." See the interview coming up this morning on @GMA. https://t.co/WZ4Hv0pAM7 pic.twitter.com/uQNaC2XJRJ
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 22, 2019
When Moulton was asked what sets him apart from the rest of the field, he said that his campaign will be “anchored in service, security and patriotism,” issues he thinks Democrats have “for too long ceded” to Republicans. “This is actually where Donald Trump is weakest,” he said. “We’ve got to take him on on these issues, on these core values that make us strong. That’s what I’m going to do in this campaign.”
Prior to Monday’s announcement, Moulton was known primarily as the leader of a handful of Democrats who opposed anointing Nancy Pelosi speaker of the House after the party won back control of the House of Representatives last November. “This election was a call for change,” Moulton told reporters following the midterms. “I think if our party answers that call, that call for change with the amazing victories we had across this country, by just saying we’re going to reinstall the same status quo leadership we’ve had since 2006, for over 10 years, I don’t think we’re answering the call of the American people.”
The movement to deny Pelosi the speakership failed to gain traction, and Moulton ultimately voted for her.
Moulton, 40, elaborated on his service-centered presidential campaign in a video released Monday morning that runs for nearly four-and-a-half minutes and covers a variety of issues. “I’m running because we have to beat Donald Trump,” he says. “And I want us to beat Donald Trump because I love this country.”
Moulton has his work cut out for him. Eighteen other Democrats have already announced their candidacy, and most of them are more familiar to voters than Moulton. This isn’t including Joe Biden, who on Wednesday is expected to become the 20th Democrat to join the race. Though Sen. Michael Bennett (D-CO) and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams have not ruled out running, there’s a good chance Biden could be the final Democrat to announce, especially now that former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe has said that he will not run. (The Democratic National Committee will cap the party’s first presidential debates at 20 candidates, although certain fundraising thresholds must be met for a candidate to qualify.)
The enthusiasm among Democrats to take on Trump is mirrored in the electorate. According to a new Fox News poll released Thursday, 52 percent of voters said they were “extremely” interested in the 2020 election, which is still 18 months away. As CNN points out, about the same number — 54 percent — said the same thing in the days prior to the 2016 election.