Patrick announced he’s joining the crowded field of Democratic candidates in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday, a day after notifying senior party members of his intentions, reported The New York Times and CNN.
“I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field,” Patrick, 63, said in his video. “They bring a richness of ideas and experience and a depth of character that makes me proud to be a Democrat. But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time is about the character of the country.”
In a spirit of profound gratitude for all the country has given to me, with a determination to build a better, more sustainable, more inclusive American dream for the next generation, I am today announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.
Rumors of Patrick’s potential entrance in the race surfaced Monday, when anonymous sources told both The Associated Press and the Times that Patrick was concerned the existing Democratic presidential candidates weren’t capable of uniting the party in a bid to unseat President Donald Trump.
The Friday filing deadline for the New Hampshire primary added urgency to the former two-term former governor’s announcement.
Given his current job as a managing director at Bain Capital, Patrick will likely enjoy the support of — and fundraising from — Wall Street, which has sounded the alarm over more progressive candidates like Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
He could see his Wall Street influence shrink, however, should billionaire businessman and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg also enter the race. Last week, Bloomberg submitted paperwork to be on the ballot in Alabama’s Democratic primary, hinting that he might be running.
In December, Patrick declared unequivocally that he wouldn’t run for president in 2020 because of “the cruelty of our elections process.”
Asked Thursday why he reversed course, Patrick told CBS News: “You can’t know if you can break through if you don’t get out there and try.”
“I’ve been waiting for a moment like this my whole life ... a moment when the appetite for big ideas is big enough for the size of the challenges we face in America,” Patrick said in an interview with “CBS This Morning.”
Patrick said he supports a public option for health care, but does not support “Medicare for All,” in contrast to several Democratic presidential front-runners, including Sanders and Warren. He also said he’s in favor of increasing taxes on “the most prosperous and most fortunate.”
Patrick has been a CBS News contributor since September. The network announced Thursday that it will discontinue that relationship in light of Patrick’s candidacy.
While the Democratic presidential field has thinned, 17 candidates other than Patrick are still in the running. If the former governor was wary about the quality of those prospects, polling indicates that Democratic voters don’t feel the same.
A recent HuffPost/YouGov poll found that 71% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters thought the party had two or more candidates who could defeat Trump. Fifty-three percent thought there were three or more options.
This article has been updated to include Patrick’s announcement and his interview on CBS.