Tulsi Gab­bard

An­nounces run for pres­i­dent

The Maui News - - FRONT PAGE -

WASH­ING­TON — Demo­cratic U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gab­bard of Hawaii has an­nounced that she is run­ning for pres­i­dent in 2020.

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

The 37-year-old Iraq War vet­eran is the first Hindu elected to Congress and the first mem­ber born in the U.S. ter­ri­tory of Amer­i­can Samoa. She has vis­ited early pri­mary and cau­cus states New Hamp­shire and Iowa in re­cent months and has writ­ten a mem­oir that’s due to be pub­lished in May.

Gab­bard is join­ing what is ex­pected to be a crowded Demo­cratic field. Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren of Mas­sachusetts has al­ready formed an ex­ploratory com­mit­tee and is mov­ing quickly with trips across early pri­mary states. Cal­i­for­nia Sen. Ka­mala Har­ris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Ver­mont Sen. Bernie San­ders are all weigh­ing their own pres­i­den­tial bids and are ex­pected to an­nounce de­ci­sions in the up­com­ing weeks. For­mer Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion hous­ing chief Julian Cas­tro plans to an­nounce his run for the pres­i­dency to­day.

Gab­bard’s run would not be with­out con­tro­versy. In 2016, she alarmed fel­low Democrats when she met with Don­ald Trump dur­ing his tran­si­tion to pres­i­dent and later when she took a se­cret trip to Syria and met with Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad, who has been ac­cused of war crimes and geno­cide. She ques­tioned whether he was re­spon­si­ble for a chem­i­cal at­tack on civil­ians that killed dozens and led the U.S. to at­tack a Syr­ian air base.

She said she doesn’t re­gret the trip and con­sid­ers it im­por­tant to meet with ad­ver­saries if “you are se­ri­ous about pur­su­ing peace.” She also noted that the 2003 in­va­sion of Iraq was based on faulty in­tel­li­gence and said that she wanted to un­der­stand the ev­i­dence of the Syria at­tack.

Gab­bard was one of the most promi­nent law­mak­ers to back San­ders over Hil­lary Clin­ton in the 2016 Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial pri­mary. Her en­dorse­ment came in dra­matic fash­ion, with her re­sign­ing as a vice chair­woman of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee to ex­press her sup­port.

Asked last year whether she would still con­sider run­ning if San­ders ran, Gab­bard said San­ders is a friend and she didn’t know what his plans were.

“I’m think­ing through how I can best be of ser­vice and I’ll make my de­ci­sion based on that,” she said.

TULSI GAB­BARD Run­ning for pres­i­dent

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