Gillibrand: The Country's Ready for a Woman President

April 22, 2018

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) said she believes the country is ready for a woman president, although she said she was not "planning" on a 2020 bid for the White House.

In an interview with MSNBC host Al Sharpton at the National Action Network annual conference, Gillibrand said she was focused on her 2018 re-election bid to the U.S. Senate.

"But after '18, if you're re-elected, would you consider running?" Sharpton asked.

"Well, I'm definitely not planning on it," she said. "I'm really focused only on '18."

Sharpton, who also interviewed Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) for "PoliticsNation" on Sunday, asked Gillibrand if she thought the country was ready for a woman president.

"I do," she said. "Hillary [Clinton] won the popular vote. The country's ready, and I think that what they really want is a leader who speaks from conviction, speaks from their heart with great authenticity and passion, and that could be a man or a woman. So I believe the country is ready. It's just about someone who is going to really share their values and fight for what they care deeply about."

Gillibrand has come to national prominence with her platforms on sexual assault; she was the first U.S. Senator to call on Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) to resign over multiple accusations of sexual harassment. She also said she thought Bill Clinton should have resigned from the presidency over the Monica Lewinsky affair, although she made that comment nearly 20 years after the fact.

Gillibrand has become one of the most reliably liberal voices in Congress after taking on more conservative positions a decade ago while representing an upstate New York district, particularly on guns and immigration. She told "60 Minutes" she was "embarrassed" and "ashamed" by those prior stances.