Tulsi Gabbard Says She's Running For President In 2020

Blanche Robertson
January 12, 2019

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.

More than 12 Democratic leaders including Indian-origin Senator from California Kamala Harris are expected to announce their White House run to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.

"I have made a decision to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week", Gabbard told CNN's Van Jones, the network revealed on Friday evening.

Gabbard joins an increasingly crowded field of Democrats vying to be president.

Tulsi, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said her campaign platform will address health care, climate change, and criminal justice reform.

More recently, she was one of the few public officials who refused to immediately blame the Syrian government for the horrific chemical attack that killed dozens of people, including children, in April. She could find herself competing against the likes of such heavy hitters as Sen.

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In recent weeks, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen.

Gabbard had endorsed Sanders in 2016 after falling out with the Democratic National Committee over its handling of the primary and her opposition to Clinton's foreign policy views.

Gabbard recalls that she found the meeting encouraging.

But asked whether Gabbard's rebuke would affect their relationship, Hirono told Hawaii News Now she "works well" with "Republicans" and said she would "certainly" welcome opportunities to work with Gabbard. She has also proposed a bill to outlaw United States weapons sales to terrorists.

An article in The Intercept last week led to a debate after it described Gabbard as "a polarising figure" whose "progressive domestic politics are at odds with her support for authoritarians overseas, including [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi, [Egyptian President Abdel Fattah] Sisi, and Syria's Bashar al-Assad". A clip of her announcement is already posted on the network's website, in which she says a formal announcement will be coming within the next week. "Tulsi Gabbard has an even bigger problem than her lack of experience - it's that she has no base of support". In response, Gabbard wrote on Twitter that "being Saudi Arabia's bitch is not 'America First'". "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".

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