News ID: 238373
Published: 0352 GMT February 03, 2019

US Rep. Gabbard kicks off presidential campaign at Honolulu rally

US Rep. Gabbard kicks off presidential campaign at Honolulu rally
MARCO GARCIA/AP
As the State of Hawaii flag flies in the background, US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, speaks during a campaign rally announcing her candidacy for president in Waikiki, Honolulu, on Feb. 2, 2019.

US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, kicked off her presidential campaign with a rally in Honolulu.

Perhaps most famous for her controversial foreign policy views, Gabbard said she “will end the regime change wars that have taken far too many lives and undermined our security by strengthening terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda,” cbsnews.com reported.

“These powerful politicians dishonor the sacrifices made by every one of my brothers and sisters in uniform, their families – they are the ones who pay the price for these wars,” Gabbard said. “In fact, every American pays the price for these wars, trillions of dollars since 9/11.”

In the speech, Gabbard pushed strong on her military service, saying she would bring her “soldier’s values” to the White House and being introduced by a soldier who served with her in Iraq.

The rally for Gabbard, one of Bernie Sanders’ key surrogates in Congress in 2016, is being held one day after Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey announced his campaign.

Gabbard, a native of American Samoa, was elected to the Hawaii State Legislature in 2002 at the age of 21, the youngest woman to be elected to a state legislature in US history at the time. She left office in 2004 and volunteered to be deployed to Iraq. She would return in 2006, work for Hawaii Senator Daniel Akaka, then return to Iraq in 2009.

In 2010, she returned to office as a member of the Hawaii City Council. In 2012, she was elected to the US House of Representatives. She comes from a multicultural, multi-religious family and, as a practicing Hindu, was the first Hindu elected to Congress. 

Gabbard has been widely criticized for her views on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with some considering her an apologist for him. She met with Assad in 2017.

She has condemned President Donald Trump’s supportive policy towards Saudi Arabia.

She made waves recently for criticizing President Trump in a tweet for announcing the US will stand with Saudi Arabia regardless of any intelligence community assessment on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s involvement in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

 

   
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