US Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, one of the aspirants for the presidential nomination for the 2020 elections, on Sunday criticised President Donald Trump, calling him a “coward” and accusing him of stirring up hatred, division and fear.
“Our president is a coward,” said Gillibrand in a fiery speech officially kicking off her presidential campaign with the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Manhattan in the background.
“President Trump is tearing apart the moral fabric of this country,” she added, Efe reported on Sunday.
The Democratic senator from New York, who last November won re-election to a second six-year term, presented her candidacy by delivering a message of “courage” in the face of the “fear” she said Trump is sowing, accusing him of hiding behind “lies and walls” and attacking the vulnerable.
“He demonizes the vulnerable and he punches down. He does this because he wants you to believe he’s strong. He is not,” she added.
“I’m proud to have stood up to Donald Trump more than anyone else in the US Senate,” she said, in discussing her congressional voting record.
Gillibrand appeared along with human rights and immigrants’ activists, LGBT activists, representatives of anti-gun groups and woman working against sexual harassment and abuse.
She said that Americans do not build walls that are the emblem of racism and fear, but rather they build bridges, communities and hope.
Among the promises she made, Gillibrand emphasised several priorities of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, including the need to get big money out of election campaign financing and fighting against “institutional racism.”
She also defended ideas like Medicare for all, the fight against climate change and the so-called Green New Deal, refinancing student debt, universal paid family leave and the legalisation of marijuana, among others.
In foreign policy, Gillibrand insisted on the need to protect US borders and fight against terrorism, but she backed ending wars and came out against US military intervention without the support of Congress.