CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) — New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand made her first presidential stop in eastern Iowa as the crowd of Democratic candidates grows.
Senator Gillibrand stopped in Cedar Rapids on Monday night for a public event at Chrome Horse Saloon.
“I have the courage and the compassion and the fearless determination to take on President Trump, to take on what’s wrong and to do what’s right. That’s what we need as a U.S. President and that’s why I’m running for President of the United States,” Gillibrand said, addressing the crowd.
The senator isn’t a big political name which brought out the curiosity in people.
“There are so many democratic candidates so what we like to do is meet each and every one of them,” Jon Fischer, of Cedar Rapids, said.
In the first half of her speech, Gillibrand focused on her background living in a conservative upstate New York. She spoke about how Hillary Clinton inspired her to get into politics.
On the matter of what issues she stands for, Gillibrand started with her support of healthcare for all.
“If you’re like me and believe healthcare should be a right and not a privilege then you have to take on the insurance companies,” she said.
Gillibrand, who supports universal background checks, then went on to attack the NRA
“It’s not about the Second Amendment. We have the Second Amendment. We have hunter’s rights but what’s really at stake is that the NRA is largely funded by gun manufacturers.”
During her speech, Gillibrand made several digs at President Donald Trump. She called the president divisive and said hate crimes were on the rise in her state.
“President Trump has spewed so much hate so much division dividing us on every racial, religious and socioeconomic line you can imagine,” she said.
Afterward, KWWL asked Gillibrand where she stood on the President’s emergency declaration for border protection.
“I think the only emergency is the humanitarian crisis President Trump has created himself at the border by separating children from their parents,” she said. “It’s an outrage that he has so little empathy, so little humanity towards people that are begging for help and support from this country.”
She went on to call it a political ploy and a misuse of presidential power.
Following her speech, Gillibrand took a few questions from the crowd. One man asked how she would help Iowa farmers.
She responded by saying she was against the trade war which she said is crushing Iowa farmers. She went on to say the country should invest in green energy which she said has the greatest economic opportunity.
Gillibrand has served on the agricultural committee for 12 years.
After her stop in Cedar Rapids, Gillibrand went to Iowa City where she had another public event at The Airliner.