Tulsi Gabbard Will Jump Into 2020 Presidential Contest
The race for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president over the weekend got another contender: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). During a Saturday interview on CNN’s The Van Jones Show, Gabbard declared that she has decided to run and would make a formal announcement within the next week. She visited New Hampshire and Iowa in recent months, and has written a memoir that is scheduled to be published in May. The 37-year-old Iraq veteran was was first elected to Congress in 2012. She was the first Samoan American and the first Hindu member of Congress. Gabbard currently serves on the House Armed Services and House Foreign Affairs Committees. "There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision. 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 then listed health care access, criminal justice reform, and climate change as top issues for her. Gabbard added that "[t]here is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace." And that is one area she is already being criticized on. Within hours of her intentions becoming public, reports of her secret visit to Syria in 2017, when she met with Syria President Bashar Assad, who has been accused of war crimes. If "you are serious about pursuing peace" you have to meet with adversaries, Gabbard said. Additionally, her past anti-marriage equality sentiments have also come to light. The Hawaii Democrat publicly called supporters of same-sex marriage and the LGBTQ community “homosexual extremists,” including once when she was a 22-year-old state Representative testifying against a bill aimed at legalizing same-sex civil unions. “To try to act as if there is a difference between ‘civil unions’ and same-sex marriage is dishonest, cowardly and extremely disrespectful to the people of Hawaii,” she said. “As Democrats, we should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists.” In a 2016 OZY interview, she said her personal views had not evolved. More here.