(CNN) Kamala Harris officially launched her 2020 presidential campaign Sunday in her birthplace of Oakland, promising to be a fighter “for the people” and stating that it is time to restore what she views as the loss of American values under President Donald Trump.
“We are here because the American Dream and our American democracy are under attack and on the line like never before,” the California senator said. “We are here at this moment in time because we must answer a fundamental question. Who are we? Who are we as Americans? So, let’s answer that question to the world and each other right here and right now. America: we are better than this.”
In an allusion to Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric, his policies at the border, and his decision to shut down the government in a failed attempt to get his wall, Harris said that “people in power are trying to convince us that the villain in our American story is each other.”
“But that is not our story. That is not who we are. That is not our America,” Harris said without mentioning Trump’s name. “The United States of America is not about us versus them … I’m running to be a President of the people, by the people, for all the people.”
“If I have the honor of being your president, I will tell you this: I am not perfect. Lord knows, I am not perfect,” she said. “But I will always speak with decency and moral clarity and treat all people with dignity and respect. I will lead with integrity. And I will speak the truth.”
She did not dwell on her own potential for a history-making candidacy with her background as a black woman seeking the Democratic nomination.