In a call with an anonymous group of likely or declared Democratic candidates for president, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, said she “cannot sit back” and stand by while Democrats wage “war against President Donald Trump.”
“I’m proud of my time in the military and proud of my time serving my country, but that is not what led me to running for president in the first place,” Gabbard said. “The same changes that are happening in our country today are happening because of my service, and I saw them first hand as a first lieutenant in the Hawaii Army National Guard.”
Gabbard made the comments during a wide-ranging call with supporters, which began in the presence of Vice President Mike Pence, who is scheduled to campaign with her in Washington, D.C., on Thursday evening.
“I’m proud of the foundation I’ve built during this journey,” she continued. “I’m proud of all of the talks I’ve had about the very serious issues that we are facing as a country, and it has led me here. And I’m going to continue to build on those things and to talk to every single one of you, and to be very clear that I am very excited about this process and very, very excited about this moment that we’re in.”
In announcing her presidential bid last month, Gabbard called the idea of nominating a candidate to face Mr. Trump a “dead-end path” and urged the Democratic party to find a candidate that is closer to “President Bernie Sanders” — the fiery independent senator from Vermont who has been mentioned as a possible candidate.
Gabbard said at the time that she supported democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’ run for president and that “I’m very comfortable as an independent senator, but that is not what led me to running for president in the first place.”
Gabbard is already garnering considerable attention as a Democratic presidential hopeful, and her views about the 2020 field are likely to be dissected in similar fashion to those surrounding Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., or even Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
“You know, the difference with that is, I, unlike some, have actually lost in an election,” Gabbard continued. “I’ve actually lost races. And so I will not sit back and allow you to play politics with my experience. I believe if we are able to become the ‘party of change,’ we are going to win. That is the foundation of our value and our strength.”