Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton announces 2020 presidential bid

  • Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts announced he’s jumping into the 2020 presidential race on Monday.
  • Moulton, who has a centrist policy record and the support of prominent military leaders, offers a more politically moderate option to Democratic primary voters.
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Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts announced he’s jumping into the 2020 presidential race on Monday morning.

“I am running because I am a patriot, because I believe in this country and because I have never wanted to sit on the sidelines when it comes to serving it,” Moulton said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

A Marine veteran, Moulton focused heavily on his four tours in Iraq in a video announcing his candidacy.

“We need to restore our 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 said in the video, adding that he decided to run for Congress because “a lot of Americans are feeling betrayed by Washington the same way that we did in Iraq.”

Moulton joins 18 fellow candidates in the most wide-open Democratic presidential primary since 1992.

The 40-year-old lawmaker has represented Massachusetts’ 6th congressional district since 2015, beating a Democratic incumbent in a historic upset. He’s maintained a relatively centrist voting record – voting with Trump about 20% of the time, is socially progressive but fiscally more conservative, and has the support of military leaders, including David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal.

His congressional tenure is perhaps best marked by another challenge to the Democratic establishment in his failed 2018 attempt to prevent Rep. Nancy Pelosi from becoming Speaker of the House.

“This election was a call for change,” Moulton, who ultimately voted for Pelosi after leading the charge against her, told reporters in November. “I think if our party answers that call, that call for change with the amazing victories we had across this country, by just saying we’re going to reinstall the same status quo leadership we’ve had since 2006, for over 10 years, I don’t think we’re answering the call of the American people.”

While Moulton succeeded in helping pressure Pelosi to concede to his demand a four-year term limit on her new post, he’s faced some fierce backlash from his own constituents over the ordeal.

Hundreds of angry constituents have voiced outrage over Moulton’s movement against Pelosi at town halls in Massachusetts. While the effort cemented the congressman’s anti-establishment credentials, it could repel 2020 primary voters, who tend to represent the liberal base of the party.

After being discharged from the Marines, Moulton earned a dual MBA and MPA from Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Since joining Congress, he’s been active in helping recruit military veterans to run for office.

Watch the announcement video:

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