Sen. Charles Schumer, New York’s senior senator, endorsed Hillary Clinton for president tonight in a speech at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson Jackson dinner.
Schumer said Clinton, the former junior senator from New York, should run in 2016 and would win.
“It’s time for a woman to be president,” Schumer said, according to excerpts from his prepared remarks. “That’s why I am urging Hillary Clinton to run for president and, when she does, she will have my full and unwavering support.”
Schumer’s speech at the major Iowa event initially drew speculation that he, the third-highest ranking U.S. senator, might be contemplating a presidential run.
He dismissed it then, and again reiterated tonight that he won’t, joking how the only time he ran for president was in junior high school—and he lost.
Instead, Schumer said he would back his former Senate colleague—also a constituent who lives in Chappaqua, Westchester County. He becomes one of the highest ranking Democrats to back her potential run.
Schumer is endorsing Clinton despite Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, also being considered as a potential presidential candidate. Cuomo is seeking re-election next year.
The former first lady and secretary of state has not indicated whether she’ll run for president, but she continues to galvanize support among Democrats as she tours the country on a speaking tour, which has included four speeches in New York in recent weeks.
“Run Hillary run. If you run, you’ll win and we’ll all win,” Schumer said. “2016 is Hillary’s time. And our nation will be all the better for it.”
Schumer, first elected in 1998, two years before Clinton won as senator, contended that a Clinton run would neutralize conservative Republicans. Clinton was New York’s senator from 2001 through 2008, when she was tapped by President Obama as secretary of state.
“With a strong platform and with Hillary leading the charge, we will vanquish the Ted Cruz, Tea Party Republicans in 2016 and create a generation of Democrats who will make sure the middle class gets what it needs, our country advances and the torch held by that beautiful lady in New York’s harbor burns more brightly than ever,” Schumer said.
Here’s the excerpts of the speech released by Schumer’s office:
Earlier, I told you that I’m not here to run for President – the relief is palpable. What I have not yet told you is why. You see, I actually have run for President once before. In junior high.
It was a good, clean campaign, we met the voters over chocolate milk and tater tots, we focused on the issues; I think we raised the level of discourse in the cafeteria and on the playground.
But, when I eventually lost to Mady Gilson- not that I still remember her name – but when I lost to her I said then as I say now: it’s time for a woman to be President.
That’s why I am urging Hillary Clinton to run for President and, when she does, she will have my full and unwavering support.
You know her well: as First Lady, Senator, Secretary and as a wife and mother. Hillary’s experience is unrivaled and her vision is unparalleled.
Suffice to say, in 2008, the time was right for Barack Obama. He has successfully navigated this country through some choppy waters and he will continue to do so for the next three years.
Run Hillary Run. If you run, you’ll win and we’ll all win.
2016 is Hillary’s time. And our nation will be all the better for it.
With a strong platform and with Hillary leading the charge, we will vanquish the Ted Cruz, Tea Party Republicans in 2016and create a generation of Democrats who will make sure the middle class gets what it needs, our country advances and the torch held by that beautiful lady in New York’s harbor burns more brightly than ever.