- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard endorsed Bernie Sanders' Democratic presidential campaign on Sunday
- Gabbard resigned her post at the Democratic National Committee to back Sanders
Washington (CNN)Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is endorsing Bernie Sanders' presidential bid, departing her post as the Democratic National Committee's vice chair to support the Vermont senator.
"There is a clear contrast between our two candidates with regard to my strong belief that we must end the interventionist, regime change policies that have cost us so much. This is not just another issue. This is the issue, and it's deeply personal to me," Gabbard said on NBC's "Meet the Press" -- a comment distributed by Sanders' campaign.
The Hawaii Democrat's backing for Sanders comes the day after Sanders was blown out by nearly 50 points by Hillary Clinton in South Carolina's Democratic primary -- and two days before 11 states vote on Super Tuesday.
Sanders is trying to erase Clinton's advantage among women by winning over younger women -- particularly in an 18-to-29 age group he has dominated through the first four states to vote.
Gabbard -- like Sanders -- has at times been at odds with the DNC in the 2016 election cycle. She criticized the party's original slate of six debates, arguing it was too limited.
DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement Sunday she'd accepted Gabbard's resignation.
"As one of the first female combat veterans to serve in Congress and the first American Samoan and Hindu member of Congress, Congresswoman Gabbard is a role model who embodies the American ideal that anyone can dream big and make a difference," Wasserman Schultz said. "She is also a colleague in Congress and a friend, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside her when our Party unites behind whoever emerges as our nominee."