Tulsi Gabbard

Congresswoman from Hawaii
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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 This page is no longer being updated.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
Tulsi Gabbard Fast Facts
Updated 8:52 AM ET, Sun May 31, 2020
Here's a look at the life of US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. Gabbard represents 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 President 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.
climate crisis
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Gabbard introduced legislation in 2017 that would end fossil fuel subsidies and transition the US to 100% clean energy by 2035. That bill would prohibit “exports of domestically produced crude oil and natural gas, including liquefied natural gas,” and would establish an “equitable transition fund” to provide retraining and other services in order to mitigate job losses in fossil fuel industries. She is not a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, the broad plan to address renewable-energy infrastructure and climate change proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Gabbard denounced Trump’s 2017 decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord, a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets. More on Gabbard’s climate crisis policy
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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
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Gabbard is a co-sponsor of the House version of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ College for All Act, which would make all two- and four-year public colleges free. Gabbard has said on Twitter that she supports paying for the measure by “taxing Wall Street.” More on Gabbard’s education policy
gun violence
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Gabbard has backed or co-sponsored legislation to ban so-called assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks. She also supports legislation to impose universal background checks on gun buyers. More on Gabbard’s gun violence policy
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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
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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
17 lessons from a family road trip in the time of Covid
Updated 8:18 AM ET, Tue Aug 4, 2020
My family of five has just finished a marathon trip from Alexandria, Virginia, to Lake Michigan (we spent three weeks in Wisconsin) and back. Here are some thoughts about the current state of the world after driving halfway across the country with my wife and three kids: Covid is also an opportunity. While not a luxurious trip, the act of taking it was a luxury for us, since the newsletter can be written from anywhere and my wife's work enables her to work remotely, too. I've never spent three weeks anywhere but my house in one sitting, so this trip was unlike any our family has ever taken. I realize we are extremely fortunate to both have jobs at a time when so many Americans are looking for work. Related: What health experts want you to know about travel and vacations It's hard to decide to travel. Despite an occasional piercing guilt about traveling during the pandemic, the time away from our house was much-needed. We'd all been cooped up together for months, and it's been a real challenge figuring out what to do with these kids to keep them active and engaged. It's always hot and often stormy in DC, but the pandemic has limited access to pools, and the camps to which we'd normally send our kids were either canceled or pared back. Plus, they hadn't seen their West Coast grandparents in 10 months. So, we poured the money we would have put into camps and childcare into a rental house, packed up our laptops to do work during the day, and set off to the lake to meet the grandparents in the sort-of middle part of the country. This decision to see the grandparents was also difficult. Would we be putting them in danger? Would they be putting us in danger? The question "When can I see my grandkids?" was the subject of a recent Dr. Sanjay Gupta podcast. It's worth the listen. Going to the bathroom takes on new meaning. Normally, you'd pull over and go wherever you stopped for gas. But these days, the dingy service station restroom makes you much more nervous. We spent much more time than we normally would thinking about bathroom breaks. Related: US travel restrictions by state Taco Bell can lead you to Rutherford B. Hayes. Coincidences are amazing. Close readers of this newsletter will remember I referred to the 1876 presidential election featuring Rutherford B. Hayes' victory over Samuel Tilden after a special commission with a majority of Republicans gave the decision to Hayes, the Republican. It's widely considered one of the most corrupt elections in US history and led to the end of Reconstruction -- which led to the rise of Jim Crow laws. You can listen to this really interesting lecture on YouTube for a college-level overview by Roy Morris, Jr., who wrote the book "Fraud of the Century." So imagine my surprise when we got off the freeway in Fremont, Ohio, in search of Taco Bell, and there was a sign for the Rutherford B. Hayes presidential library. What are the odds?!?! (I was substantially more excited about this development than my children or Rolo, the dog we adopted at the beginning of the pandemic, who traveled with us.) Follow your detours. Nerdy dad that I am, we immediately followed the signs to the library instead of Taco Bell. The library was closed due to the coronavirus, but we showed ourselves around the grounds at Spiegel Grove. This is a good place to remind everyone that one day there will be a Donald Trump presidential library. The Hayes library -- unlike libraries for presidents since FDR -- receives no federal funds, but it was, according to the website, the first presidential library. It's an interesting distinction for a one-term president who didn't win the popular vote or the Electoral College vote. He did have a very large red brick house, however, and a very productive post-presidency. Indoor destinations are in trouble. We were unable to go inside the Hayes museum. Same with a lighthouse, which was closed. While there is a lot to do at the lake outdoors, it drove home the point that many indoor places aren't currently available and probably won't be for some time. There needs to be more testing. We wanted to get Covid-19 tests before leaving. But we waited too long. I looked into going to a CVS, a doctor's office and the city. But most required a referral for a test within days, and I had waited too long to schedule a pre-travel screening. Speaking to people who have been tested, it often takes more than a week to receive results. So, they're not all that useful when it comes to clearing yourself to do something. It seems like a huge area for improvement until we have a vaccine. Related: 90-minute tests that detect Covid-19 and other viruses to be rolled out in the UK Hotels are not empty. We had planned to stop one night in South Bend, Indiana, but were booted from a hotel where we had a reservation because the room had been given away. We found another hotel, and that one was mostly full too. I was really surprised. Youth sports are happening. People are traveling for them! The hotels were full because of a youth baseball tournament -- I was gobsmacked by this since my kids' soccer league still isn't back. Plus, the NBA, MLB and NFL's difficulties over safely returning has me wondering about teams of kids staying in hotels. There was no baseball tournament when we stopped in Pittsburgh on the return trip, but the hotel where we stayed was full of cars. I had been surprised by the tournament, but I was also surprised at the line of people we saw in line for water slides as we zipped past the Six Flags waterpark near Chicago. The change crisis is real. I don't often use cash, but I did notice -- particularly at gas stations -- signs notifying people that coin change would not be made. There's a coin shortage because of Covid. People wore masks indoors. This is not a scientific statement, but rather what I saw in Wisconsin, at rest stops and during single-night hotel stays in South Bend, Indiana, in early July and Pittsburgh in early August. Many people weren't wearing masks on the street. Stores and gas stations mostly required mask-wearing on my trip, but most people walking on the street in public areas were not. I've spent a fair amount of time paying attention to the Covid news and honestly, I'm not entirely clear whether you're always supposed to wear a mask in an open-air setting when you're six feet away from other people. But I can say that, for me, you feel much sillier wearing a mask when people around you are not. Mask-wearing mandates are sort of like motorcycle helmets laws. I've never lived in a state that doesn't require motorcycle helmets, but as I saw people chop by on Harleys in Wisconsin, I drew some parallels to the fact that some states require face masks in public and others do not. Wisconsin's face mask mandate went into effect as we were leaving the state. I didn't realize that in the late '60s, the federal government pressured states to adopt helmet laws by attempting to withhold federal highway funds. That practice ended in the '70s, according to the Governor's Highway Safety Association, which endorses a universal helmet law. Today, 21 states have a universal helmet law, 28 have a partial law, and New Hampshire is the lone state without a law. Live free or die! Or, live free and die in a motorcycle accident? It also has no statewide mask-wearing mandate. Related: These are the states requiring people to wear masks when out in public Some restaurants and businesses are doing better than others at face masks and distance. We went out to eat. This felt almost naughty, but we sat outside and ate dinner several times. I felt much better in places where every server wore a mask, where only outdoor tables were in use and everyone was distanced. A lot of stores had hand sanitizer at the door. Most kept a limit on the number of people who could be inside. Trump supporters still really love Trump. This is a non-scientific tally. But in a rural vacation town in Wisconsin, this normally city-going journalist noticed a clear advantage to Trump in yard signage. Although our street had a Biden sign, it was offset by a large "Trump 2020 No More Bullshit" flag a person was flying from their dock. At one gas station, they were selling Trump 2020 car magnets, and I could not find Biden ones. Wisconsin is a clear prize in 2020 "Tossup" state vacation. CNN rates Wisconsin as one of just six battleground states. The current handicap, according to our political team, assumes 268 electoral votes solidly or learning toward Biden and 170 solidly or leaning toward Trump. Do the math here.