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Clinton makes voters the focus of her 2016 announcement

April 13, 2015 at 6:45 PM EDT
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GWEN IFILL: Every week, a new face arrives on the 2016 presidential scene. Tonight, it’s Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

Yesterday, it was, to no one’s surprise, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Tonight, she’s scheduled to arrive in Iowa.

NewsHour political editor Lisa Desjardins kicks off Politics Monday with a look at the accelerated race.

HILLARY CLINTON, 2016 presidential candidate: I’m hitting the road to earn your vote, because it’s your time. And I hope you will join me on this journey.

LISA DESJARDINS: Hillary Clinton, arguably the nation’s most famous woman, is on a journey of reintroduction, tweeting pictures en route to Iowa, after a quarter century in the public eye, as a candidate’s wife, a policy-driven first lady, a U.S. senator, a presidential candidate, and a globe-trotting secretary of state

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: I’m back!

LISA DESJARDINS: She is running for president again, hoping to clear the Democratic field by shifting the focus from her history to the voters.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: I’m getting ready to do something too. I’m running for president. Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times.

LISA DESJARDINS: This time, Clinton, 67, hopes voters will see Hillary the grandmother and potential glass-ceiling breaker. Sunday’s announcement video highlighted young people, a gay couple, two Latino brothers and, most of all, women.

At the same time, Republicans lining up to run hope to make the campaign about Clinton herself, especially about her controversies.

JEB BUSH, (R) Former Florida Governor: We must do better than the Obama/Clinton foreign policy that has damaged relationships with our allies and emboldened our enemies.

CARLY FIORINA, Former Hewlett-Packard CEO: She doesn’t have a track record of leadership or trustworthiness. She’s not the woman for the White House.

SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) Texas: Hillary Clinton represents the failed policies of the past. Does America want a third Obama term, or are we ready for strong conservative leadership to make America great again?

LISA DESJARDINS: Today, yet another Republican critic joined the race, freshman Senator Marco Rubio.

He sat down with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos hours before his announcement.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) Florida: This country is at a generational moment where it needs to decide not what party it wants in charge, but what kind of country are we going to want to be.

LISA DESJARDINS: Rubio, a 43-year-old Cuban-American who served as speaker of the Florida House before coming to Washington in 2012 is positioning himself to outpace another likely major candidate from the Sunshine State, former Governor Jeb Bush. Rubio would be the youngest candidate in the race so far. But his most famous moment on the national stage came when he delivered the 2013 Republican response to the State of the Union address.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: On foreign policy, America continues to be indispensable to the goal of global liberty, property and safeguarding human rights. The world is a better place when America is the strongest nation on Earth.

LISA DESJARDINS: Rubio becomes the third Republican to announce his candidacy. He joins two other senators, Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker are expected to jump in shortly.

While the Republicans compete to position themselves as the antidote to the incumbent president, Clinton is tied to the man who defeated her in 2008.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I think she would make an excellent president.

LISA DESJARDINS: Whether the president’s endorsement helps or hurts may prove a key question in the race.

For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Lisa Desjardins in Washington.

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