Washington: Democrat Amy Klobuchar has announced her presidential bid at a snowy, outdoor event, vaulting the three-term Senator from Minnesota into the crowded field of party candidates angling to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.
Klobuchar, with snow piling up around her and blanketing the thousands of people before her, on Sunday cast herself as the product of working-class roots who can win bipartisan support and help Democrats win back the Midwestern cities and towns that drifted toward Trump in 2016, CNN reported.
Throughout her speech in Minneapolis, she pledged to take on issues like money in politics, climate change and election reform and leaned heavily into her Minnesota roots.
"On an island in the middle of the mighty Mississippi, in our nation's heartland, at a time when we must heal the heart of our democracy and renew our commitment to the common good, I stand before you as the granddaughter of an iron ore miner, the daughter of a teacher and a newspaperman, the first woman elected to the US Senate from the state of Minnesota, to announce my candidacy for President of the Us," Klobuchar said.
"I'm asking you to join us on this campaign. It's a homegrown one.
"I don't have a political machine. I don't come from money. But what I do have is this: I have grit."
In her speech, Klobuchar also took a swipe at officials in Washington, promising that her honesty will set her apart from them.
The senator also went after Trump without mentioning him by name, criticising the President's foreign policy and use of Twitter.
"We need to stand strong - and consistently - with our allies. We need to be clear in our purpose. We must respect our front line troops, diplomats and intelligence officers who are out there every day risking their lives for us ... they deserve better than foreign policy by tweet."
Due to freezing temperatures, Klobuchar's team handed out hot cocoa and apple cider to the audience. Volunteers handed out small American flags and packs of Little Hotties hand warmers as people entered the park, CNN reported.
Klobuchar will follow her event in Minnesota with a trip to Iowa and Wisconsin next weekend and then another trip to Iowa on February 21.
Born in Plymouth, Minnesota, Klobuchar returned to her home state after attending Yale University and getting her law degree at the University of Chicago.
She began her career in private practice before being elected narrowly as Hennepin County attorney in 1998. She was re-elected with no competition in 2002.
Klobuchar now joins prominent Democratic figures who have announced presidential bids including Indian American Kamala Harris, New Jersey's Cory Booker, New York's Kirsten Gillibrand and Massachusetts' Elizabeth Warren.
Vermont Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will announce his candidacy soon.