What to Know
- Moulton is the 19th Democrat to announce a 2020 presidential bid.
- The 40-year-old Massachusetts lawmaker is an Iraq War veteran.
- Moulton gained national attention for rejecting Nancy Pelosi as House speaker after Democrats regained control of the chamber last year.
Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton announced Monday morning he is running for president.
"I'm running because we have to beat Donald Trump, and I want us to beat Donald Trump because I love this country," Moulton said in his announcement video.
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Moulton joins a crowd of Democratic hopefuls in the 2020 race. He distinguished himself Monday from so-called democratic socialists such as Sen. Bernie Sanders.
"I'm just not a socialist. That's just not who I am. I'm proud of the free market. I think it makes our country stronger," Moulton told NBC10 Boston. "If you look at my record on gun reformer or on climate change, you'd say I'm a strong progressive. If you look at my record on the economy, you'd say I'm a Democratic capitalist. But the point is that I'm an independent thinker."
Moulton said he supported better access to health care, but not in the same way it has been promoted by Sanders.
"I support Medicare for all, or better, a more modern version of Medicare, as an option for everyone," Moulton explained.
When asked about Democratic Rep. Alexandria Oscasio-Cortez's Green New Deal, Moulton also suggested that his ideas would be different.
"I'm going to be releasing my own components of what I think should make up the Green New Deal, to not just address climate change, but grow our economy," he said.
Moulton had been expected to announce his presidential bid in late April.
"I'm feeling great. But ultimately, this is a decision about how I can best serve the country, and that's a decision we're still making," he said on April 12. "I'll make it by the end of the month."
Moulton's decision makes him the 19th Democrat to enter the race.
"I think it's too many," said one voter named Paul. "It's gonna be a hard choice."
Walker Olinsky of Salem, Massachusetts, disagreed saying a bigger pool of candidates will be good for voters.
"The more people that run for President the better I guess. Keeps the race open. Seth Moulton's a pretty cool guy," said Olinsky.
The 40-year-old Moulton gained national attention for helping lead an effort within the party to reject Nancy Pelosi as House speaker after Democrats regained control of the chamber last year.
The U.S. Marine veteran said he believes he would stand out against his competitors since he is focusing on national security. He believes in an incremental reform to education and health care.
"I think he's well-liked and well-respected in the state of Massachusetts," said voter Susan Fagan.
Others don't think Moulton is the right choice.
"I did vote for him once. Would never again," said one woman who did not give her name. "I think he's been sucked into all the nonsense in D.C. It’s a shame. He seemed like a nice guy when I voted for him."
Moulton first sparked rumors of his run for presidency after he visited New Hampshire in February. He is scheduled to be in the Granite State again on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
Who’s Running for President in 2020?
The race for the 2020 presidential election is underway, and the field of Democratic candidates is packed. Those who have announced presidential bids include a vice president, senators, House members and three mayors. As for the GOP, a single Republican has announced his bid to challenge President Donald Trump for the party nomination: former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who ran for vice president (and lost) in 2016 on the Libertarian party ticket.
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Updated Nov. 20, 2019
Note: Incorrect information about Michael Bennet’s cancer diagnosis and titles for Joe Sestak and William Weld have been revised on July 29, 2019, 3:17 p.m. ET.
Credit: Jo Bruni, Emma Barnett, Asher Klein, Dan Macht, Kelly Zegers / NBC; Photos: Getty Images