Democratic Hawaii Rep. Gabbard running for president in 2020

  • FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, greets supporters in Honolulu. Gabbard has announced she’s running for president in 2020. The 37-year-old Gabbard said in a CNN interview slated to air Saturday night that she will be formally announcing her candidacy within the week. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia, File)

WASHINGTON – Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has announced that she is running for president in 2020.

Gabbard said in a CNN interview slated to air Saturday night that she will be formally announcing her candidacy within the next week.

The 37-year-old Iraq War veteran is the first Hindu elected to Congress and the first member born in the U.S. territory of American Samoa. She has visited early primary and caucus states New Hampshire and Iowa in recent months and has written a memoir that’s due to be published in May.

Gabbard is joining what is expected to be a crowded Democratic field. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has already formed an exploratory committee and is moving quickly with trips across early primary states. California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are all weighing their own presidential bids and are expected to announce decisions in the upcoming weeks. Former Obama administration housing chief Julian Castro plans to announce his run for the presidency on Saturday.

Gabbard’s run would not be without controversy. In 2016, she alarmed fellow Democrats when she met with Donald Trump during his transition to president and later when she took a secret trip to Syria and met with President Bashar Assad, who has been accused of war crimes and genocide. She questioned whether he was responsible for a chemical attack on civilians that killed dozens and led the U.S. to attack a Syrian air base.

She said she doesn’t regret the trip and considers it important to meet with adversaries if “you are serious about pursuing peace.” She also noted that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was based on faulty intelligence and said that she wanted to understand the evidence of the Syria attack.

Gabbard was one of the most prominent lawmakers to back Sanders over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. Her endorsement came in dramatic fashion, with her resigning as a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee to express her support.

Asked last year whether she would still consider running if Sanders ran, Gabbard said Sanders is a friend and she didn’t know what his plans were.

“I’m thinking through how I can best be of service and I’ll make my decision based on that,” she said.

  1. harry oyama January 11, 2019 3:31 pm Reply

    Time for new blood not the same old farts like that whining complaining Warren, trying to claim she is native American Indian when she is not. Who knows, maybe she’s a relative of George E. Custer the mass murderer who foolishly attacked over 4,000 angry Indians with a little over 300 men and got wasted to the last man.

    She more than insulted all American Native Indians

  2. I saw a Vampire once January 11, 2019 4:46 pm Reply

    I will be supporting Tulsi Gabbard. Military. She knows delegated authority. We can learn from it. My vote is on her.

  3. Marty Chapo January 12, 2019 12:41 am Reply

    Donald Trump challenged Elizabeth Warren on her claimed indian heritage. He is on record as saying he would pay one million dollars to her favorite charity if she could prove the genetic link existed. His supporters applauded. She took the DNA test and it did show she had indian ancestry, albeit 6 generations back.
    The outcome, Trump denies ever pledging this money to any charity, even though he was taped making the pledge more than once. He continues to deride her on this using name calling to diminish her credibility.
    Trump has told literally thousands of lies….just Google Trump lies. He panders to fear and racism while trying to level personal attacks on anyone opposing him. Leaders of his own party are intimidated by his tactics and refuse to challenge him.
    It is time to seek new leadership that can be respected by both sides.

  4. truth be known January 12, 2019 12:10 pm Reply

    Wow! A moderate democrat who refused to kowtow to the Hilary Clinton machine. That’s my kind of representative! Tulsi apparently is willing to explore the evidence in a given situation first hand rather than just go along with the Party dictates. That is refreshing in this time of lock-step left wing extremist propaganda. We can do without “Just say no” Nancy and Chuck’s idea of negotiation. We need someone who puts the good of the country ahead of politics as usual. From what I have witnessed thus far Tulsi Gabbard could be that person. She’s got my vote!

  5. Pete Antonson January 12, 2019 12:50 pm Reply

    To be in the presidential candidacy spotlight will require addressing membership in the Chris Butler (possibly abusive) religious cult, to the extent of attending a Butler school in the Philippines, with more than a shrug.

  6. Paid2Talk January 12, 2019 12:55 pm Reply

    The only thing I found suspicious was this announcement was right after Obama’s visit to Hawaii. Not saying I am against her, just suspicious…

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