Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton announced his presidential campaign on Monday, becoming the 20th candidate to join the 2020 Democratic primary.
The 40-year-old congressman and former Marine, who served four tours of duty in Iraq, is aiming to claim the foreign policy and national security mantle in the crowded field, and is pitching his campaign as a call for new leadership.
In a video released on his website Monday morning, Moulton appeared to suggest his presidency would be much different than the current commander in chief’s, urging supporters that the country needs to “restore moral authority in everything we do.”
“Whether it’s appointing a Cabinet member, negotiating a treaty, or signing an executive order, I will always uphold America’s values.”
He added in a jab at at the 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 is planning several campaign stops through key primary states this week: Tuesday in New Hampshire; Wednesday in South Carolina; Thursday in Iowa; and Saturday in Nevada. In each stop, Moulton will be participating in a service event.
Moulton sees New Hampshire as crucial to his path to the nomination, especially since he comes from a neighboring state. He becomes the second Massachusetts lawmaker to enter the race,.
He also sees the rise Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, as proof there is interest in a new face for the party, as well as the fluidity of the race for the nomination.
Moulton, a Harvard graduate, was elected in 2014 after defeating a long-term Democratic incumbent in a primary, and led an unsuccessful charge to oust Nancy Pelosi from the top job after Democrats won back the House in November. In the 2018 midterms, Moulton had focused his efforts on recruiting veterans to run for Congress.
In , Moulton said that Democrats should be leading on national security issues “in the face of such a reckless commander-in-chief.”
“When I was a Marine, our division motto was no better friend no worse enemy than the United States Marine. That should be the motto for the United States of America. Trump is doing the opposite,” he said.
“He’s getting closer to people like Kim Jong Un and [Vladimir] Putin and he’s abandoning our allies in NATO. We actually should be not only strengthening NATO in Europe to make it revised for the new threats from Russia…We should also be considering a Pacific NATO to help contain the threat from North Korea and the rise of China.”