Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on the Democrats’ Prospects in 2020

2020 speculation is in full swing and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand looks like a serious contender. She joins the program to discuss the Democrats’ prospects, as well as her timely children’s book, “Bold and Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote.”

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: On the Democratic side, it’s already a sort of crowded field. I mean, people are sort of, you know, testing the waters, names are being brought up, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Kirsten Gillibrand. Are you thinking about it? Particularly in the age of women and we’ve had, as you said, an unprecedented number of women voting and an unprecedented number of women elected. Are you now ready to consider testing the waters for a presidential run?

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND: Well, I will be considering it, as I’ve said. But for me, Christiane, I really think it’s a moral question. You know, I believe in right first versus wrong. And up until this election, I really felt like wrong was winning. And I have watched President Trump put so much hate into my state, our hate crimes have gone up exponentially in all places in New York, whether it’s antisemitism, racism, homophobia, anti-Muslim, antiimmigrant, and that’s not who we are as a country. We’ve always believed in the golden rule that you should treat others the way you want to be treated, that we should actually fight for other people’s kids as hard as we fight for our own. And so, I do feel called to do whatever I can to fight as hard as I can to restore that moral compass, to restore that integrity, that truth that we do care about one another. And I will be thinking about it. I’m sure many other people. And I think all of us need to think about what we can do to restore what’s best about America, and that is that we should care about one another.

AMANPOUR: So, I mean, this is an important moment. But I just want to press you on this issue because just recently in a debate you said the following about, you know, finishing out your own term as a senator. Let’s just listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to make this clear. You are saying you will not get out of the race, that you will not run for president, you will serve your six year?

GILLIBRAND: I will serve my six-year term/



AMANPOUR: But now, you’re saying maybe you won’t?

GILLIBRAND: Well, of course I’m focused on being the absolute best senator I could be. And as I said during the last couple years that I was entirely focused on the 2018 election because as you saw, changing the House and holding some of these senate seats were the most important thing we could all do. But in light of where we are right now, I will be giving it strong and serious consideration in the future.

AMANPOUR: Now, we’ve talked a lot about women, you know, as — they’re sort of game changing role in this last election cycle. And you’ve just come out with a new book. It’s quite unusual because it’s not, you know, a memoir or a kind of, you know, presidential book but maybe it’s a different and smart way to do it, it’s sort of done as a children’s book, but it’s about you thanking the 10 women who helped bring women the right to vote.

GILLIBRAND: The right to vote.

AMANPOUR: Exactly.


AMANPOUR: And we’re in about 100 years since, at least, White women could vote in the United States. And the book sort of opens with the view or the words of one young woman, Inez Milholland. “Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?” And I believe that is the last thing she said or one of the last thing she said before she died in 1916.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with former head of UK Foreign Office Simon Fraser about Brexit, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand about the future of the Democratic Party and author Tim Weiner about the Mueller investigation. Walter Isaacson speaks with musician Ben Jaffe, Creative Director of Preservation Hall.