Gabbard Fuels 3rd-Party Suspicions; Drops House Race to Focus on Presidential

‘I can best serve the people of Hawaii and our country as your President and Commander-in-Chief…’

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Tulsi Gabbard/Photo by Lorie Shaull (CC)

(Associated Press) Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard says she will focus on her White House bid and not run for reelection to her congressional seat.

The congresswoman from Hawaii made the announcement early Friday.

While lagging behind in a crowded Democratic presidential field, Gabbard has gotten renewed attention lately after a heated argument with former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

The Hawaii congresswoman fought back after Clinton said in a recent interview that she believes Republicans have “got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” and claiming that Russia is scheming to advance her efforts.

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“She’s the favorite of the Russians,” Clinton said in a podcast interview published last week. “They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”

Clinton, the former senator, U.S. secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, did not name Gabbard directly but was obviously referring to her.

The squabble seemed to give Gabbard renewed energy on the campaign trail.

Gabbard noted in her early morning announcement that the threats of war, international tensions and the threats of a new cold war convinced her she should focus on the presidential race.

“I believe I can best serve the people of Hawaii and our country as your President and Commander-in-Chief,” she said in her statement.

Gabbard, who launched her presidential bid in January, has emphasized her background as a combat veteran and her advocacy against sending the U.S. military into “endless wars.”

Currently a major in the Army National Guard, she has served for more than 16 years and deployed twice to the Middle East, according to her announcement.

She was first elected to Congress in 2012.

With context provided by Liberty Headlines.