Marianne Williamson New Day 1-31-19
Presidential candidate calls for moral awakening in US
01:31 - Source: CNN
Washington CNN  — 

A best-selling author who is a spiritual counselor to Oprah Winfrey and is now seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination said Thursday she’s running to bring a “moral and spiritual awakening” for America.

“We need a moral and spiritual awakening in the country,” Marianne Williamson told CNN’s John Berman in an interview on “New Day” Thursday. “Nothing short of that is adequate to fundamentally change the patterns of our political dysfunction.”

She painted a grim picture of the US, depicting it as a country plagued by an amoral economic system and systematic racism, with millions of children living in “chronic despair and trauma.”

“We need someone to articulate what’s happening, the deeper levels of moral dysfunction,” Williamson said. “I have had a 35-year career in naming and transforming those dynamics. That’s my qualification for the presidency at this time.”

Williamson formally launched her campaign Monday night with a speech in Los Angeles. Her campaign website outlines her proposals that mostly align with progressive policies like universal health care, free higher education and a Green New Deal.

She’s also proposing $100 billion in reparations for slavery, $10 billion a year to be distributed over 10 years.

“I believe $100 billion given to a council to apply this money to economic projects and educational projects of renewal for that population is a debt to be paid,” she told Berman.

Williamson, a Texas native, has written several best-selling books beginning with her first, “A Return to Love,” which got the attention of Winfrey. Since then, Williamson has been a “spiritual friend and counselor” to Winfrey for years. She’s one of five women so far running for the Democratic nomination and the only candidate who’s Jewish.

In 2014, Williamson ran for a congressional seat in California only to finish fourth in the primary, despite name recognition, $2 million spent, and celebrity endorsements, including a campaign song written by Alanis Morissette. That seat eventually went to Rep. Ted Lieu.

She endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election.

Asked Thursday by CNN how she sees a path to victory, Williamson said, “My strategy isn’t strategy.”

“My strategy is that I seek to speak as deeply, articulately and passionately as I can,” she told Berman, adding, “I’m not trying to figure out what to say to get people to vote for me. I’m seeking to have the conversation that I believe we need to be having. These are very serious times. We need to be very serious, deep thinkers.”