Tulsi Gabbard dropped out of the presidential race on March 19, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Gabbard brings her experience as an Iraq War veteran to the presidential campaign and has staked out a distinctly anti-interventionist foreign policy. She was elected to Congress in 2012.
Hawaii Pacific University, B.S., 2009
April 12, 1981
Abraham Williams; divorced from Eduardo Tamayo
Major, Hawaii National Guard, 2003-present; Honolulu City Council, 2010-2012; Legislative aide to Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, 2006-2009; Hawaii State House, 2002-2004
GABBARD IN THE NEWS
Tulsi Gabbard Fast Facts
Updated 2:01 PM ET, Mon Apr 5, 2021
Here's a look at the life of former US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. Gabbard represented Hawaii's 2nd District. Personal Birth date: April 12, 1981 Birth place: Leloaloa, American Samoa Birth name: Tulsi Gabbard Father: Mike Gabbard, Hawaii state senator Mother: Carol (Porter) Gabbard, former Hawaii Board of Education member Marriages: Abraham Williams (2015-present); Eduardo Tamayo (2002-2006, divorced) Education: Hawaii Pacific University, B.S.B.A., 2009 Military service: Hawaii Army National Guard, 2003-present, Major Religion: Hinduism Other Facts As a teenager, co-founded Healthy Hawai'i Coalition, an environmental non-profit. She is the first American Samoan congresswoman and first practicing Hindu member of the US Congress. She is an avid surfer. Timeline 2002 - At age 21, is elected to the Hawaii State House to represent West Oahu, making her the youngest woman ever elected to the state legislature. 2003 - Enlists in the Hawaii Army National Guard. She completes her basic training between legislative sessions. 2004-2005 - Gabbard's unit is activated, and she voluntarily deploys, serving with a field medical unit in Iraq. 2006-2009 - Legislative aide to Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawaii. 2007 - Graduates from the Accelerated Officer Candidate School at the Alabama Military Academy. This makes Gabbard the first woman in the Academy's 50-year history to earn the title of the distinguished honor graduate. 2008-2009 - Gabbard deploys to Kuwait, training counterterrorism units. November 2, 2010 - Is elected to the Honolulu City Council. 2011 - Founds the film production company, Kanu Productions. November 6, 2012 - Defeats David "Kawika" Crowley in the 2nd Congressional District of Hawaii for the US House of Representatives. January 22, 2013 - Elected vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. August 28, 2013 - Aniruddha Sherbow is apprehended in Tijuana, Mexico, after making threats against Gabbard that the FBI and US Capitol Police "deemed credible." Sherbow is later sentenced to 33 months in prison. October 12, 2015 - On CNN's "The Situation Room," Gabbard says she was disinvited from a Democratic presidential debate after voicing a call for more of them. October 12, 2015 - Is promoted by the Hawaii Army National Guard from captain to major at a ceremony in Hawaii. November 20, 2015 - Calls for the United States to let Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remain in power. February 28, 2016 - On NBC's "Meet the Press," Gabbard announces her decision to step down as DNC vice chair to endorse Bernie Sanders' presidential bid. November 21, 2016 - Meets with President-elect Donald Trump. "President-elect Trump asked me to meet with him about our current policies regarding Syria, our fight against terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS, as well as other foreign policy challenges we face," Gabbard says in a statement. January 25, 2017 - Gabbard tells CNN's Jake Tapper that she met with Assad during an unannounced, four-day trip to Syria. "When the opportunity arose to meet with him, I did so because I felt that it's important that if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we've got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there is a possibility that we can achieve peace," Gabbard says. January 31, 2017 - Facing criticism, Gabbard issues a statement saying that she will personally pay for her trip to Syria. April 7, 2017 - Gabbard claims she's "skeptical" that Assad's regime was behind a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens in Syria though the President, secretary of state and Pentagon officials found that Assad's regime was responsible for the attack. November 21, 2018 - Gabbard refers to Trump as "Saudi Arabia's bitch" in a tweet after he issues a statement backing Saudi Arabia in the wake of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. January 11, 2019 - Gabbard tells CNN's Van Jones she will run for president in 2020, during an interview slated to air on January 12. "There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision. 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 says. January 17, 2019 - Gabbard issues an apology for her past comments and actions against the LGBTQ community following CNN's earlier report that she had supported her father's anti-gay organization, The Alliance for Traditional Marriage. Gabbard had previously apologized in 2012 while running for Congress. January 20, 2019 - Gabbard says that she does not regret meeting with Assad in 2017, adding that American leaders must meet with foreign leaders "if we are serious about the pursuit of peace and securing our country." February 2, 2019 - Gabbard officially launches her 2020 presidential campaign at an event in Hawaii. October 17, 2019 - In a podcast interview, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton suggests that the Russians are "grooming" a current Democratic presidential candidate to run as a third-party and champion their interests. The comment appears to be directed at Gabbard, who has previously been accused of being boosted by Russia. In her response, Gabbard calls Clinton "the queen of warmongers," and concluded, "It's now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don't cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly." October 24, 2019 - Gabbard releases a campaign video announcing that she won't run for reelection to Congress in 2020. December 18, 2019 - Votes "present" on both articles of impeachment against Trump. January 22, 2020 - Gabbard files a defamation lawsuit against Clinton, alleging the former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee "lied" about Gabbard's ties to Russia. March 19, 2020 - Ends her 2020 presidential campaign and endorses former Vice President Joe Biden. May 27, 2020 - Drops the defamation lawsuit she filed against Clinton.
Gabbard has called for overhauling the tax system, which she says unfairly benefits the rich. She has called Trump’s 2017 tax cuts a “failure,” saying they did not provide relief to working Americans or small businesses. She co-sponsored recently passed House legislation raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Gabbard opposed the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal negotiated under Obama, which Trump withdrew from early in his term. She has also opposed the President’s trade war against China, which she argues has “damaged, not helped” our economy. More on Gabbard’s economic policy
Gabbard is among the co-sponsors of the House version of “Medicare for All” legislation, which would create a national public health insurance plan, but she has said she does not want to eliminate private insurance. She is also a co-sponsor of legislation allowing drug imports, as well as empowering Medicare to negotiate prices with drug manufacturers. Gabbard told The Washington Post that she supports allowing the federal government to produce and sell generic drugs. More on Gabbard’s health care policy
Gabbard, who has made foreign policy a core issue of her candidacy, has blamed US intervention in Latin America for creating the instability that triggered the surge in migration across the southern US border. She’s a co-sponsor of several bills aimed at keeping migrant families together at the border. She also supports creating a path for undocumented immigrants to gain legal status, including some who were brought to the US as children. More on Gabbard’s immigration policy
LATEST POLITICAL NEWS
Opinion: What's really behind the 'Justice for J6' rally
Updated 8:59 PM ET, Sat Sep 18, 2021
The so-called "Justice for J6" rally, a right-wing protest Saturday to support the insurrectionists facing criminal charges in the January 6 attack, was smaller than expected. It also lacked the mayhem and violence the Department of Homeland Security feared might break out. But that doesn't mean it wasn't dangerous. The rally in Washington, DC, was part of a dangerous attempt to rewrite the history of that dark day in America. For months, Trump spread baseless lies about widespread election fraud, claimed the election had been "stolen," and urged his followers to take action. It didn't help that many Republican members of Congress repeated those lies. Fueled by the false belief that they were defending democracy, members of the mob stormed the Capitol building while Congress was certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election, chanting, "Stop the steal," and "Hang Mike Pence." Now, it seems the organization behind "Justice for J6," which is led by a former Trump campaign operative, wants to free many of the insurrectionists of responsibility and cast them as victims. A permit application the organizers submitted to the US Capitol Police Board said the event was supposed to "bring awareness and attention to the unjust and unethical treatment of nonviolent Jan. 6 political prisoners." Trump has already given credence to this narrative in a statement that repeated the Big Lie. "Our hearts and minds are with the people being persecuted so unfairly relating to the January 6th protest concerning the Rigged Presidential Election," Trump said on Thursday. Although the claims being made about the legal process don't match the facts, this narrative has already taken root. Shortly after January 6, many Congressional Republicans condemned Trump and distanced themselves from the violence. In February, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "Former President Trump's actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty." He went on to add, "There's no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day." The sense of outrage didn't last long. Republicans soon embarked on an effort to rewrite the narrative. Many downplayed or denied the violence, and Rep. Andrew Clyde went so far as to compare what happened to a "normal tourist visit." Many other Congressional Republicans stopped talking about January 6 altogether while others worked to prevent a bipartisan commission from being established. The goal was to move on, with an eye toward the 2022 midterm elections. Meanwhile, former President Trump continued to distort the facts by falsely claiming that the crowds in Washington that day were peaceful. The rioters, he said, were "hugging and kissing the police and the guards." False suggestions that Antifa or Black Lives Matter were responsible for the riot picked up steam on social media and right-wing radio shows. According to a newly released poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, those lies have taken hold among the right. While most Americans blame Trump, White supremacists and the conservative media for January 6, a majority of Republicans, see it differently -- and place most of the blame on liberal or left-wing activists. This is incredibly dangerous -- not only because these are distortions and lies but also because they diminish what little chance our elected leaders have to hold Trump and his enablers accountable. To be sure, some Republicans, such as former President George W. Bush have pushed back. On the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attack, Bush delivered a speech in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, comparing domestic extremists to international ones. "They are children of the same foul spirit and it is our continuing duty to confront them," he said. But those voices are all too rare. More common are the Republicans who remain silent as Trump and others spout lies about the January 6 attack and who was really involved. We live in an era of disinformation and conspiracy theories. Trump could be on the cusp, as Jonathan Chait argued in New York Magazine, of transforming this disaster into "a glorious uprising behind which he could rally his adherents." As the midterm elections heat up, it is important that Americans are not fooled. The implications of the attack on Congress -- which was directly connected to a presidentially-led effort to overturn the election -- can't be forgotten or excused. Reckoning with January 6 must be a paramount issue on the ticket in 2022 as voters decide which party is best suited to control the House and Senate. The twisted stories about what happened must be continually challenged and the government must do more to ensure that accountability in our democracy won't go by the wayside. The country needs a thorough, nonpartisan investigation to connect the campaign to delegitimize the 2020 election to the violence that unfolded on January 6.