Rep. Moulton considering running for president on national security platform

Several Democrats this week sized up the ever crowded 2020 presidential contest and declined to enter themselves. But Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts congressman and former marine who served four tours in Iraq, sees a potential opening for himself on a key issue that few of the current contenders are prioritizing at this stage: national security.

“It’s a historic opportunity to take back the mantle of leadership on national security,” Moulton said in an interview with CBS News. “In the midst of the longest war in American history and facing threats across the globe, that’s the kind of leadership that we need from a commander-in-chief. And that’s one of the things I’ll be discussing as I as I worked look forward to making a decision one way or the other.”

“We should be leading on national security right now as Democrats in the face of such a reckless commander-in-chief,” Moulton said.

Moulton was elected in 2014 after defeating a long term party incumbent in a primary, and focused his efforts in the recent midterm election recruiting veterans to run for Congress. The 40-year-old Harvard graduate has made headlines for calling for fresh leadership in his party, and led an unsuccessful charge to oust Nancy Pelosi from the top job after Democrats won back the House in November.

Even as he has received some backlash, Moulton says he has no regrets about pushing for a challenge to leadership, noting the resulting agreement to put a term-limit on Pelosi’ speakership. In mulling a bid for the presidency, Moulton is advocating for next-generation solutions. But he isn’t discounting older politicians like Joe Biden.

“There are enormously powerful talented leaders who are who are running or considering running and they’re bringing an extraordinary breadth of ideas to this contest. And that’s exactly the way that we should have a Democratic primary,” Moulton said, noting his relationships with several current contenders, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, and his home-state colleague Elizabeth Warren.

“Ultimately I’m going to see if by joining this race I can add something to the conversation. And if that’s the best way that I can serve the country,” he said.

Last month, Moulton gave a foreign policy speech at Brookings where he called for rethinking the “strategic role and purpose of NATO” and re-examining U.S. military presence abroad. But the congressman says he and President Trump have opposing world views.

“When I was a Marine, our division motto was no better friend no worse enemy than the United States Marine. That should be the motto for the United States of America. Trump is doing the opposite,” he said.

“He’s getting closer to people like Kim Jong Un and [Vladimir] Putin and he’s abandoning our allies in NATO. We actually should be not only strengthening NATO in Europe to make it revised for the new threats from Russia…We should also be considering a Pacific NATO to help contain the threat from North Korea and the rise of China.”

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