Tulsi Gabbard Says She's Running For President In 2020

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"I have made a decision to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week", Rep. Gabbard, 37, an Iraq War veteran as well as the first Hindu and first Samoan-American elected to the U.S. Congress, told CNN.

Former Obama administration housing chief Julian Castro plans to announce his run for the presidency on Saturday.

Gabbard threw her support behind Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign ― an endorsement that led her to publicly resign from her role as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

According to CNN, she holds anti-interventionist positions on foreign policy issues.

Gabbard said "the issue of war and peace" would be the main focus of her campaign.

"There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision", Gabbard said.

These issues include health care access, criminal justice reform and climate change.

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Gabbard sits on the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees and is now a Major in the Army National Guard.

Gabbard certainly poses a thorny problem for the neocon-neoliberal axis, as she checks all the identity politics boxes - the first Hindu member of Congress, a woman, a veteran - and she has undeniable populist appeal, given her anti-establishment record.

"I stepped down from the legislature where I served, and headed to a war zone", Gabbard recalled at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She ended up being a backer of Sen. She also met with refugees and Syrian opposition leaders.

In response, Gabbard wrote on Twitter that "being Saudi Arabia's bitch is not 'America First'".

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". By the middle of her second term, she was getting asked if she might one day run for president.

While Gabbard is wildly popular with many Sanders supporters - she was the only member of Congress to join him at a post-election conference in Vermont - she's viewed skeptically on much of the left. Former Vice President Joe Biden and former Rep. Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke (D-TX) are also reportedly considering running for president. "I'm seriously thinking of how I can best be of service to our country", she told Concord Monitor News reporter Paul Steinhauser before meeting with Rockingham County Democrats.

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