"I'm excited to run for president in order to qualify for the Democratic debates,” Gravel said in a statement Monday.
“My message, centered around an anti-imperialist foreign policy and fundamental political reform, is one that no other Democratic candidate is making the centerpiece of their campaign. After the first two debates, I will drop out and endorse the most progressive candidate,” he continued.
The 88-year-old progressive launched his campaign with the release of an ad and a draft of his “2020 Platform,” which he posted on Twitter.
“We are proud to present to you Draft 3.2 of the Gravel 2020 Platform. This is the front end - revisions are still being made! Please share any comments or suggestions you have with us via tweet - anything you'd like to see included in the platform,” Gravel’s tweet said, along with a link to a Google Doc.
The 28-page document — which is still being added to, according to a note at the top — covers issues including political reform, foreign policy, poverty, inequality and justice.
Gravel’s official campaign ad was captioned on YouTube: “Welcome to the Gravelanche. Sen. Mike Gravel is running for president - not to win, but to qualify for the debates to push the field to the left on foreign policy and political reform.”
In order to qualify for the first two Democratic debates, Gravel has to raise 65,000 individual donations from people in 20 different U.S. states, according to a statement. As of Monday, Gravel has reportedly had donations from 5,000 individuals, with an average donation of $3.
“All campaign funds that are not spent getting Gravel on stage will be donated to organizations that will help Flint, Michigan get clean water, and to other charities,” a statement from Gravel’s campaign said.
Last week, Gravel announced that he would launch a campaign, a month after college-age fans started boosting the candidate on social media. He has not run for president since 2008 and he hasn’t been a senator since 1981.
Fox News' Frank Miles and Patrick Ward contributed to this report.