U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard ends Democratic presidential bid,
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[March 20, 2020]
By Doina Chiacu and Joseph Ax
(Reuters) - U.S. Representative Tulsi
Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran who campaigned to end "forever wars,"
dropped her long-shot bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential
nomination on Thursday and endorsed front-runner Joe Biden in a video
posted to Twitter.
"Although I may not agree with the vice president on every issue, I know
that he has a good heart, and he's motivated by his love for our country
and the American people," said Gabbard, 38. She has served as a
congresswoman from Hawaii since 2013 and is the first Hindu elected to
The endorsement was something of a surprise given Gabbard's past support
for Biden's main rival, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. But she
noted that recent state nominating contests had made it clear that
Democratic voters had chosen the former vice president to take on
Republican President Donald Trump in November's general election.
On Twitter, Biden thanked Gabbard for her service to the country as a
veteran and a congresswoman. "Iím grateful to have her support and look
forward to working with her to restore honor and decency to the White
House," he wrote.
Despite remaining mired far behind Biden and Sanders, Gabbard had stayed
in the race even as better-known rivals dropped out. In all nine state
contests over the last two weeks, she finished behind other contenders
who had already abandoned their campaigns but still appeared on ballots.
Gabbard earned her only two delegates by finishing second in American
Samoa, where she was born. Biden has won at least 971 delegates of the
1,991 needed to clinch the nomination in July, while Sanders has
collected 737, according to Edison Research - an advantage for Biden
widely seen as virtually unassailable.
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Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard speaks during a
campaign event in Lebanon, New Hampshire, U.S., February 6, 2020.
A major in the Hawaii National Guard who was deployed in Iraq from
2004 to 2005, Gabbard is a fierce opponent of what she calls
"forever wars." Despite her liberal views on most other issues, she
has won praise from some Trump supporters and conservative media
outlets, where she frequently appears as a commentator.
She has consistently opposed U.S. intervention in Syria, going so
far as to meet secretly with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in
January 2017 during Democratic President Barack Obama's
administration, sparking fierce criticism from some in her own
She became embroiled in an ugly war of words in October after 2016
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Gabbard was
being "groomed" to disrupt the 2020 election as a third-party
In January, Gabbard sued for defamation, seeking at least $50
million in damages from Clinton for harming her reputation by
allegedly suggesting she was a Russian asset.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax and Doina Chiacu; Additional reporting by
Ginger Gibson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)
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