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hillary 2016

Former senator Jim Webb has launched his bid for president, joining other Democrats taking on front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Jim Webb, who represented Virginia from 2007 to 2012, said the US needed “positive, visionary leadership”.

The 69-year-old Vietnam veteran said defense, criminal justice reform and an economy that benefits the middle class would be his focus.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Jim Webb is the fifth Democrat to enter the presidential race. There are 14 Republican challengers so far.

In a statement on his campaign website, Jim Webb said he made the decision to run “after many months of thought, deliberation and discussion.”

“I understand the odds, particularly in today’s political climate where fair debate is so often drowned out by huge sums of money,” he added.

Vowing to bring an outsider’s voice to the 2016 race, Jim Webb said the US needed “to shake the hold of these shadow elites on our political process”.

Jim Webb was a vocal critic of the Iraq war, which his son served in, and his opposition formed the basis of his Senate election campaign in 2006.

Prior to becoming a senator, he worked as an author and film-maker and briefly served as US Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan, but resigned in protest at cuts to the military.

Latest polls suggest Jim Webb is a long way behind the levels of support seen for Hillary Clinton and her closest Democratic challenger, Bernie Sanders.

Hillary Clinton has vowed to help “everyday Americans” in the first major rally in her presidential campaign held in New York on June 13.

The Democratic front-runner outlined her key policies in a speech to thousands of supporters on New York City’s Roosevelt Island.

Hillary Clinton, 67, pledged to support working families, saying: “America can’t succeed unless you succeed”.

The former secretary of state and first lady’s campaign team hopes to boost approval ratings, which have flagged since her soft-launch in April.

President Bill Clinton and their daughter Chelsea appeared alongside her.Hillary Clinton campaing rally New York

Hillary Clinton promised to “make the economy work for everyday Americans, not just those at the top” if elected president in 2016.

She said during the rally: “Prosperity can’t be just for CEOs and hedge fund managers; democracy can’t be just for billionaires and corporations.

“It’s America’s basic bargain… if you do your part, you ought to be able to get ahead, and when everybody does their part, America gets ahead too.”

Until now, Hillary Clinton has held small events with selected audiences in early voting states such as Iowa. Saturday’s outdoor rally marked a change in gear for her campaign.

HillaryClinton hopes to make history as the first female US president. If successful she would also keep the White House within the same party for a third term.

She did not detail specific policy proposals on Saturday. Her aides say that will happen over the next few weeks on issues including the economy, jobs and college affordability.

Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign’s communications director, said Hillary Clinton plans to give a policy address almost every week in the coming months.