US Democrat Tulsi Gabbard announces 2020 presidential run

US Representative Tulsi Gabbard

US Representative Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress, has said that she is running for the White House in 2020.

In an announcement on December 31, 2018, US Senator Elizabeth Warren stated that she has formed an exploratory committee for a presidential run. Gabbard may be "one of the lesser known" possible candidates, per the New York Times, but she turned heads in 2016 by quitting as vice chairwoman of the DNC so she could support Sen.

A US Congresswoman, with an American Samoan heritage, says she will run for president in 2020.

Gabbard, 37, said "the issue of war and peace" would be the main focus of her campaign. "There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I'm concerned about and that I want to help solve", she said about her White House bid.

Gabbard served in a field medical unit of the Hawaii Army National Guard in a combat zone in Iraq from 2004 to 2005 and was later deployed to Kuwait.

Gabbard, who served in the U.S. military herself and is an Iraq War veteran, stunned her party and the Washington establishment in 2017 when she made an independent trip to Syria and met the country's leader Bashar al-Assad, who the United States regards as a sworn enemy.

Since entering national politics in 2012-when she became the first Hindu elected to Congress-she has been an outspoken critic of the bipartisan consensus on foreign policy.

A victor of the primary elections beginning early 2020 would be finally nominated by the Democratic party in its convention later that summer to challenge the Republican candidate in the November 2020 elections. "Will you join me?"

"Tulsi Gabbard has an even bigger problem than her lack of experience - it's that she has no base of support", RNC spokesman Michael Ahrens wrote in a statement released Friday evening. In recent weeks, she has worked to expand her fundraising network and to improve her standing among critical voting blocs, including African-American voters. "I look forward to talking with you more about this in the coming days". She has made no secret of her controversial views on the Middle East and Islam, and criticized Obama for refusing to use the phrase "radical Islam" to discuss jihadist groups. 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. Former Vice President Joe Biden and former Rep. Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke (D-TX) are also reportedly considering running for president. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) 2016 campaign as her campaign manager, CNN reports.

A dozen other aspirants have expressed interest in running - among them, former NY mayor Michael Bloomberg, former vice-president Joe Biden, Congressman Beto O'Rourke and Eric Swalwell, Senators Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Bob Casey, and governors Steve Bullock and Terry McAuliffe.

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