Hilary Clinton and Sen. Marco Rubio launch historic 2016 presidential campaign

World Today

In this image taken from video posted to hillaryclinton.com on Sunday, April 12, 2015, Hillary Rodham Clinton announces her campaign for president. The former secretary of state, senator and first lady enters the race in a strong position to succeed her rival from the 2008 campaign, President Barack Obama. (Hillary For America via AP)

Hillary Rodham Clinton has jumped back into presidential politics, making a much-awaited announcement she will again seek the White House in 2016 with a promise to serve as the “champion” of everyday Americans in a country with growing income inequality.

Unlike eight years ago, when she ran and lost to Barack Obama, Clinton and her personal history weren’t the focus of the first message of her campaign Sunday. She made no mention of her time in the Senate and her four years as secretary of state, or her potential to make history as the nation’s first female president.

Instead, the video is a collection of voters talking about their lives, their plans and aspirations for the future. “Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times. But the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion,” Clinton said near the end.

Clinton’s video and new website are scant on policy specifics. But the message made an immediate play to win the support of liberal Democrats for whom economic inequality has become a defining issue.

Her campaign said Sunday she would not hold her first rally and deliver a campaign kickoff speech until May.

CCTV America’s Nathan King reported from Washington, D.C.

Hilary Clinton and Sen. Marco Rubio launch historic 2016 presidential campaign

Hilary Clinton and Sen. Marco Rubio launch historic 2016 presidential campaign

CCTV America's Nathan King reported from Washington, D.C.

Marco Rubio

In this Feb. 27, 2015 file photo, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. speaks in National Harbor, Md. When Rubio launches his Republican presidential campaign Monday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a favorite among libertarians, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a champion of the ultraconservative tea party movement, have already entered the Republican race. Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida announced his bid to be the first Hispanic president on Monday. He told his top donors that he is running for president because he feels “uniquely qualified” to pitch his Republican Party as one that will defend the American Dream.

The first-term Republican from Florida told his biggest backers on a conference call on Monday that he sees the coming presidential campaign as a choice between the past and the future. In a swipe at Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rubio said the former first lady “is a leader from yesterday.”

Rubio says he has always felt the United States is about tomorrow.

Rubio spoke on a conference call with donors before a flashy political rally set for Monday night in Miami.

The 2016 campaign is likely to be the most expensive in history, with total spending on both sides expected to well exceed the more than $1 billion spent by each of the two nominees’ campaigns four years ago.

Report filed by The Associated Press