WASHINGTON -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick launched a late-entry bid for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday morning, joining an already crowded field with a campaign that will aim to position him as a pragmatist well-positioned to take on President Trump.
"I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field. But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time is about the character of the country," he said in a video launching his candidacy.
In an interview with his hometown newspaper, Patrick did not minimize the long odds against his candidacy.
"I recognize running for president is a Hail Mary under any circumstances. This is a Hail Mary from two stadiums over," he told the Boston Globe.
The newly minted candidate officially filed for New Hampshire's primary on Thursday. He plans to fly to California for appearances on Saturday and Nevada on Sunday, according to a person familiar with his plans. The California Democratic Party is holding a convention in Long Beach this weekend, and Nevada Democrats have a candidate forum scheduled for Sunday.
In an interview with "CBS This Morning," Patrick offered thinly veiled criticisms of two of the current leading candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden and Patrick's fellow Massachusetts politician, Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
"We seem to be migrating to, on the one camp, sort of nostalgia -- let's just get rid, if you will, of the incumbent president and we can go back to doing what we used to do," he said. "Or, it's our way, our big idea, or no way."
"Neither of those, it seems to me, seizes the moment," he said.
In case anyone thought the implied criticism was accidental, Patrick repeated the same comment after filing in New Hampshire.
Asked on CBS about a couple of major issues in the campaign, Patrick said he opposes "Medicare for all" but supports a "public option" that would allow people to enroll in a government-sponsored health plan rather than private insurance. And he said he supports higher taxes on the richest Americans, but not necessarily the wealth tax that Warren has backed.