Saturday, 19 January, 2019


Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Will Run For President In 2020

Tulsi Gabbard first Hindu and American Samoan member of Congress says she'll run for president in 2020 Rep. Tulsi Gabbard greets supporters in Honolulu in November
Bennie Garza | 12 January, 2019, 06:25

She will certainly stand out in a Democratic field that figures to be crowded.

Democratic congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq war veteran who met dictator Bashar al-Assad in Syria during that country's devastating civil war, said Friday that she is launching a USA presidential bid.

"There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision", Gabbard said. "There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I'm concerned about and that I want to help solve", she told Jones, listing issues such as health care, criminal justice reform and climate change.

Gabbard, 37, arrived in Congress six years ago after an underdog campaign for Hawaii's mostly rural 2nd District. She made news again when she left the seat to serve in Iraq with the Army National Guard. The 2020 presidential primary cycle is scheduled to kick off from the Iowa Caucuses on February 3, 2020, followed by the New Hampshire Primary on February 11, Nevada caucus of February 15 and SC on February 22. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) 2016 campaign as her campaign manager, CNN reports. Her endorsement came in dramatic fashion, with her resigning as a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee to express her support.

"I'm seriously thinking of how I can best be of service to our country", she told Concord Monitor News reporter Paul Steinhauser before meeting with Rockingham County Democrats.

She drew criticism in 2017 for meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been accused of war crimes for massacring, torturing and starving civilians. That led to more critical attention to Gabbard's foreign policy views, though a few months into the Trump administration, she rejected praise from the president and his allies.

Republicans wasted no time Friday in going after her.

Asked a year ago whether she would still consider running if Sanders ran, Gabbard said Sanders is a friend and she didn't know what his plans were. "Liberals think she's too conservative, conservatives think she's too liberal, and just about everyone thinks her coziness with Bashar al-Assad is disturbing", said Ahrens. Elizabeth Warren and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro have both announced exploratory committees.

Gabbard was also criticized for being one of the only Democrats to meet with President Donald Trump after he was elected.

Thus far only former Maryland Rep. John Delaney has mounted an official presidential bid.

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