April 26 (UPI) -- Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton is launching a presidential bid in 2020 aimed at challenging what he views as President Donald Trump's largest flaws.
Moulton, a former U.S. Marine who has spent three terms in Congress, announced his bid on April 22, stating he plans to focus his campaign on patriotism, security and service, areas he has identified as weakest for Trump and Moulton's competitors for the Democratic nomination.
"These are issues that for too long Democrats have ceded to Republicans and we've got to stop that, because this is actually where Donald Trump is weakest," Moulton said during an appearance on Good Morning America. "We've got to take them on these issues, on these core values that make us strong and that's what I'm going to do in this campaign. This is going to be a campaign anchored in service, security and in patriotism."
Moulton criticized Trump's foreign policy, saying the president has alienated many U.S. allies.
"This administration has turned its back on our friends and cozied up to our adversaries," Moulton's website states. "Donald Trump's erratic foreign policy has weakened the country, left our allies in the lurch and emboldened our adversaries across the globe."
If elected, Moulton says he would build new alliances "to counter growing threats of Russia and China abroad" in addition to investing in autonomous, hypersonic and cyber weapons to increase national security and assist allies.
Moulton was born on Oct. 24, 1978 in Salem, Mass., where he lives with his wife, Liz, and their daughter Emmy.
At 40, he would be the youngest president in U.S. history if elected.
He attended Harvard University and joined the Marines after graduating, inspired by his minister and spurred on by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He served in one of the first platoons to enter Baghdad in 2003.
In his campaign announcement video, Moulton recalled that he was inspired to pursue politics after returning from his service in Iraq to find that the war was "based on a lie" about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction by then-President George W. Bush.
"I returned home and decided to run for Congress because I realized that a lot of Americans are feeling betrayed by Washington in the same way that we did in Iraq," Moulton said. "Ask anyone who's lost their job to a changing economy, or a child to opioids, or has to choose between heat and food in the winter. They're feeling forgotten."
Moulton has been a critic of aspects of the Democratic Party since the beginning of his political career, which saw him challenge another Democrat who represented his Massachusetts district for 18 years, a move he said brought criticism from within the party.
"They said you're going to lose and by the way, you'll never run for anything again because you don't challenge the establishment," he said on Late Night with Seth Meyers in 2018. "Fundamentally, what they were saying to me as a veteran is, 'Do not participate in the democracy that you risked your life to defend.' And that's wrong."
He was also part of a group of members of Congress who voted against Nancy Pelosi for House speaker.
In his presidential bid, Moulton has separated himself from many of his peers, rejecting the Medicare for All proposal championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders in favor of a "public option" allowing all Americans to choose between keeping their current healthcare or obtaining coverage through public healthcare.
He said this option would create competition in the market and drive down premiums and prescription prices.
"I'm not a socialist. I'm a Democrat. And I want to make that clear. Maybe that's a differentiatior in this race," Moulton said.