Kamala Harris Nabs Her First Congressional Endorsement In 2020 Race

Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California smiles as she formally launches her presidential campaign at a rally in her hometown of Oakland Calif. Sunday Jan. 27 2019

"I urge him, for the good of the country, to reconsider this bad idea", tweeted House Democrat Brendan Boyle.

Harris immediately took her campaign to Iowa, the state that votes first in the nominating process, holding a televised town hall from Des Moines that airs at 9:00 pm (0300 GMT Tuesday).

Harris also did not shy away from taking on Trump directly, saying the US welcomes refugees and calling the wall that Trump wants to build at the southern border a "medieval vanity project" that would not actually stop transnational gangs, which she noted she battled as state attorney general. "America, we are better than this".

Throughout the event, several commentators took note of how many people were present at the Democratic senator's campaign launch, cheering her on.

"Fighting for the people meant fighting on behalf of survivors of sexual assault", Harris said, in one of multiple references to the #MeToo movement in her speech, "a fight not just against predators but a fight against silence and stigma".

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Harris, a first-term USA senator from California who announced her candidacy last Monday, rallied thousands of supporters at the Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, her hometown and where she served as a prosecutor before becoming the state attorney general.

Lieu's endorsement came one day after Harris formally kicked off her presidential campaign with a rally in Oakland, her hometown.

Ms. Harris also called Mr. Trump's border wall his "medieval vanity project" and in what was perhaps a reference to the plight of federal workers in the recent government shutdown, Ms. Harris said that while American families were living pay-cheque to pay-cheque, bankers responsible for the economic crash were getting bonuses and the country's biggest corporations were getting "a trillion dollars" - a reference to the Trump administration's tax cuts.

Harris instead insisted that it was a "very painful experience" for her.

"People in power are trying to convince us that the villain in our American story is each other".

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Harris never named President Donald Trump in her address but made obvious nods to his policy.

Early on in her speech, Ms. Harris invoked memories of her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, a biologist who immigrated to the US from Chennai.

"In this moment, we must all speak truth about what's happening", she affirmed. She would say to me: "'Kamala, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you're not the last'".

Harris' first news conference as a candidate was on the campus of Howard University, the historically black college in the nation's capital that she attended as an undergraduate. I don't think Democrats want people to be laden with student debt and they're willing to fight against it.

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