Rep. Gabbard to Run for President in 2020

Rep. Gabbard to Run for President in 2020

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 U.S. presidential bid.

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

Senator Elizabeth Warren of MA, who announced her plans to challenge Donald Trump for the presidency last month, is moving quickly with trips across early primary states.

"There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace", Gabbard said.

Being a fourth-term congresswoman from a small state (and a religious minority to boot) may prove limiting to Gabbard's presidential ambitions.

Adding to the mix, there is speculation that Nikki Haley, who quit as US Permanent Representative to the United Nations at the end of last last may seek the Republican Party nomination in the event that President Donald Trump is not up for re-election next year. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders are all weighing their own presidential bids and are expected to announce decisions in the upcoming weeks.

The 37-year-old Iraq War veteran is the first Hindu elected to Congress and the first member of Congress born in the U.S. territory of American Samoa.

At age 21, Gabbard was elected to serve in the Hawaii state Legislature.

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In this photo, US Representative Tulsi Gabbard speaks during Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 26 July 2016.

In recent weeks, Massachusetts Sen. Mazie Hirono, over lawmakers' questioning of judicial nominee Brian Buescher. Gabbard didn't use any names, but the description applied to questions asked by Senators Hirono and Harris.

Indeed, Gabbard has rankled some in her party for her unorthodox moves. She quickly established herself as a voice for her party's left on domestic issues and a critic of foreign military intervention. Gabbard supported legislation that made it more hard for Syrian refugees to enter the U.S.

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".

Gabbard also met with Donald Trump after the election in November 2016 to discuss Syria and terrorism policy.

At the time, she said she was focused on her home, Hawaiʻi; but she did not not directly answer Rogan's inquiry with a yes or no, of if she had considered a run, saying instead that others had been urging her to take it into consideration.

"Tulsi Gabbard has an even bigger problem than her lack of experience ― it's that she has no base of support", Ahrens said.

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