Kamala Harris Announces She Is Running for President

January 21, 2019

Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) announced on Monday that she is running for president, saying she is "very excited about it."

ABC's "Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts asked the senator about her plans for 2020 presidential run.

"Senator Harris has also been laying the ground work for a run for the White House. It is great to have you with us on this special holiday. Do you have an announcement you would like to make?" Roberts asked.

"I am running for president of the United States," Harris declared. "And I'm very excited about it. I'm very excited about it."

"What qualifies you to be commander in chief?" GMA host George Stephanopoulos asked.

"I love my country," she said. "This is a moment in time that I feel a sense of responsibility to stand up and fight for the best of who we are. And that fight will always include as one of the highest priorities, our national security. And, thinking about it in a way that we understand that we must be smart. We must understand the power that we have, the strength that we have. That is about military power; diplomatic power; the power that we have, for what has been, until recently, our moral authority in the world and our ability to work with our allies."

Harris has been touring the country for her book tour in recent weeks. She has made numerous appearances on talk shows in an effort to show a more personal side and lay the groundwork for her upcoming campaign.

She continued on Monday to talk about her career as a prosecutor.

"I'm a career prosecutor ... My entire career has been focused on keeping people safe," she said. "It is probably one of the things that motivates me more than anything else. When I look at this moment in time, I know that the American people deserve to have somebody who is going the fight for them, who is going the see them, who will hear them, who will care about them, who will be concerned about their experience and put them in front of self interest."

As she made her announcement on GMA, her staff released her first campaign video on Twitter. The video displays her campaign message as "Kamala Harris for the people."

Harris also commented on the significance of making her announcement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"The thing about Dr. King that inspires me is that he was aspirational; he was aspirational like our country is aspirational," Harris said. "We have not yet reached those ideals. But our strength is that we fight to reach them. That inspires me. We're a country – yes, we are flawed, we are not perfect – but we are a great country when we think about the principles upon which we were founded. So today, the day we celebrate Dr. King, is a very special day for all of us as Americans, and I'm honored to be able to make my announcement on the day we commemorate him."

Harris joins a handful of Democrats who have already announced their 2020 campaigns. Many more Democrats are expected to join the race.