Gillibrand says her path to a 2020 victory goes through New Hampshire

  • Kirsten Gillibrand visited Franklin Studios in Franklin on Friday, June 14, 2019, as part of her swing through New Hampshire. PAUL STEINHAUSER / For the Monitor

  • Kirsten Gillibrand visited Franklin Studios in Franklin on Friday, June 14, 2019, as part of her swing through New Hampshire. PAUL STEINHAUSER—For the Monitor

  • Kirsten Gillibrand visited Franklin Studios in Franklin on Friday, June 14, 2019, as part of her swing through New Hampshire. PAUL STEINHAUSER—For the Monitor

For the Monitor
Published: 6/14/2019 3:23:46 PM

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s far from a front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The senator from New York is struggling in the polls and in fundraising, two important campaign metrics.

But Gillibrand feels her up-close encounters with voters in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state of New Hampshire will help her breakthrough.

“I will have the opportunity to campaign directly with voters over and over again,” the senator told reporters Friday after meeting and fielding questions from voters in what was billed as a “Coffee with Kirsten” at the Franklin Studio.

It was Gillibrand’s first stop during a jam-packed, two-day swing through the Granite State, her seventh trip to the state since launching her presidential campaign in January.

The senator vowed that there “will be dozens more. It will allow me to meet with voters directly, share them my vision, share them how I’m going to get things done, why I’m different and I have a chance to win them over regardless of what’s going on with the national narrative.”

She explained that this type of traditional retail politics will help her “break through on the ground in New Hampshire and in other early states like Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada, and that’s how I’m going to win.”

Gillibrand’s latest trip to New Hampshire also came with less than two weeks to go until the first round of prime-time primary debates, which will be broadcast nationally.

The senator said appearing in those debates will also help her spread her message.

“My goals for the debate will be to tell the American people why I’m running for president,” she highlighted. “It will be about sharing my vision and using whatever minutes I get to tell people who I am and why I’m running.”

Speaking with voters who gathered in downtown Franklin to meet her, Gillibrand took aim at Republican President Donald Trump, calling him “somebody who punches down. And he does it all because he wants us to believe he’s strong. But he’s not.”

She targeted the president, saying, “he’s like any other bully. He’s actually quite weak and in fact I believe he’s a coward. And I believe we deserve a president who’s brave, a president who will take on the fights that no one else will take.”

And the former congresswoman from a conservative district in rural upstate New York who in 2009 was named to succeed Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate – after Clinton was confirmed as secretary of state – touted “that’s who I am. I have never backed down from a fight my entire public service career. I take on the battles that other Democrats won’t.”

While some in the crowd were backing the candidate – and sporting Gillibrand stickers on their clothes – others were still very much undecided with seven months to go until the New Hampshire primary.

One of them was Olivia Zink of Franklin.

“I am deeply concerned about campaign finance reform and I really like her proposal for the “Democracy Dollars,” Zink told the Monitor.

Zink was referring to Gillibrand’s plan to give every voter up to $600 so that they can donate to a federal candidate for office. The senator has said her “Clean Elections Plan” would help reduce the influence of big money in politics.

Zink was accompanied by her daughter, who said she was very excited to see the female candidates in the historically large field of nearly two-dozen Democratic White House hopefuls.

Amanda Swendsen from nearby Salisbury said that Gillibrand and the other presidential candidates are “heroes for doing this and I just want to show my support.”

But she spotlighted that she’s “a little nervous about a woman candidate. They call it the Hillary hangover.”

Swendsen added that “I just want whoever will win” over Trump in next year’s general election.

Her husband, Eric Swendsen, shared her concerns.

But after hearing Gillibrand speak, he said “she’s a force to be reckoned with. For sure.”




Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301
603-224-5301

 

© 2019 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy