Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Focused on ‘War and Peace,’ Announces Run for President

But, a veteran of the Iraq War, Gabbard said her main issue will be ‘war and peace’…

Photo by AFGE. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii.

(Chris Sommerfeldt, New York Daily News) Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the first American Samoan and Hindu member of Congress, announced Friday she’s throwing her hat in the ring to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.

“There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision,” Gabbard told CNN’s Van Jones during a radio interview set to air in full Saturday night. “There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I’m concerned about and that I want to help solve.”

Gabbard said she’ll make a formal announcement within a week.

The 37-year-old is the third high-profile Democrat to announce her 2020 run.


Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro announced a presidential exploratory committee last month. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., followed suit and announced her own committee on New Year’s Eve in what is expected to be a crowded primary, as Democrats hope to learn from their 2016 mistakes and unseat Trump.

Gabbard, a major proponent of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 bid, said she will be pushing for combating climate change, reforming the criminal justice system and providing health care for all Americans.

But, a veteran of the Iraq War, Gabbard said her “main issue” will be “war and peace.”

“I look forward to being able to get into this and to talk about it in depth when we make our announcement,” she said.

Gabbard has courted some controversy through her thoroughly anti-interventionist foreign policy approach.

In particular, Gabbard stoked outrage after she met with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad in 2017 — a meeting she claimed in an interview was “important” in the mission to “achieve peace” for the Syrian people. Assad stands accused of killing hundreds of thousands of his own citizens by having his military launch chemical attacks.

Mere minutes after Gabbard’s announcement, the Republican National Committee put out a “cheat sheet” about the Hawaii congresswoman dubbing her “Assad’s mouthpiece in Washington.”

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