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Clinton goes on road trip after announcing presidential campaign

WATCH: Hillary Clinton has jumped in a van named “Scooby” for the start of what she hopes will be a long drive to the White House. Jackson Proskow reports.

WASHINGTON – Hillary Rodham Clinton promptly set off on the campaign trail after making her long awaited entry into the 2016 presidential race, and her potential Republican rivals wasted no time unleashing blistering criticism of the former secretary of state.

Clinton, seeking to become America’s first female president, announced her candidacy Sunday and left on a trip from her New York home to Iowa, the Midwestern state that kicks off the long, state-by-state contest for the Democratic nomination.

In a video message announcing her candidacy, Clinton promised to serve as the “champion” of everyday Americans in a country with growing income inequality.

READ MORE: Hillary Clinton running again for president

Clinton appears unlikely to face a formidable Democratic opponent in the primary elections. Should she win the nomination, Clinton would face the winner of a crowded Republican primary field that could feature as many as two dozen candidates.

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Already the Republican Party is treating her as the Democratic nominee.

Announcing his own 2016 campaign to top donors Monday, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio branded the former first lady, senator and secretary of state as “a leader from yesterday who wants to take us back to yesterday.”

READ MORE: 5 facts about 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, another declared candidate, put Clinton at the centre of his first TV ad, titled “Liberty, not Hillary.”

Some Republicans sought to make foreign policy an issue at a time when the Obama administration is negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran and moving to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.

“We must do better than the Obama-Clinton foreign policy that has damaged relationships with our allies and emboldened our enemies,” said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in his own online video Sunday. Bush, the brother and son of former presidents is widely expected to join the race for the Republican nomination.