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 This page is no longer being updated.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
Hindu
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 1:44 PM ET, Tue Mar 29, 2022
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.
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STANCES ON THE ISSUES

climate crisis
Close Accordion Pane
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
economy
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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
education
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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
healthcare
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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
immigration
Open Accordion Pane
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

Biden offers message for Kim Jong Un as he prepares to wrap first leg of his Asia trip
Updated 10:55 PM ET, Sat May 21, 2022
Before President Joe Biden concluded a visit to South Korea on Sunday, he offered a brief message to the nuclear-armed dictator to the north, who US officials believe could be preparing for a provocation during the US leader's visit to Asia. "Hello," Biden said when asked his message for Kim Jong Un. "Period." The succinct greeting reflected the Biden administration's so-far-unsuccessful attempts at restarting diplomacy with Pyongyang. Attempts at outreach to the North have gone mostly unanswered. Instead, Kim has intensified missile launches and could be preparing for a seventh underground nuclear test. Biden said he was prepared for such contingencies to occur during his first trip to Asia. "We are prepared for anything North Korea does. We've had -- thought through how we're going to respond to whatever they do. And so I'm not concerned," Biden said. He was speaking before visiting with some of the nearly 30,000 American service members stationed here as a last stop on his visit to South Korea. The Americans deployed on the Korean Peninsula have long acted as a signal of US military strength in a region made anxious by the nuclear-armed nation to the north. Increasingly, they also act as a reminder of Western muscle in a region heavily influenced by China. Biden plans to observe a joint airspace control center where members of the US and South Korean militaries work alongside each other to monitor airspace made tense by North Korea's intensifying missile tests. Earlier in the day, the President met with Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun in Seoul, where he highlighted $11 billion in new investments from the Korean automaker, including $5.5 billion to open a new electric vehicle factory in Savannah, Georgia. One of Biden's primary objectives in visiting Asia this week has been to reaffirm his commitment to two key alliances while also seeking ways to further expand cooperation. He'll depart South Korea for Japan later in the day, bringing with him a similar message of reassurance that America's longtime ally in the Pacific can depend on the United States as a reliable security and economic partner. A day earlier, Biden and his South Korean counterpart, President Yoon Suk Yeol, wrote in a joint statement they were open to expanding joint military drills that Biden's predecessor scaled back, believing them too costly and provocative. Biden said cooperation between the two countries demonstrated "our readiness to take on all threats together." The expanded military exercises will be aimed at ensuring "what it takes to best ensure military readiness and best ensure our ability to work closely together," a senior administration official said Sunday, though declined to offer a timeline or guidance on the scope of the expanded drills. "Mr. President, your country's democracy shows the power to be able to deliver for its people," Biden told Yoon during a toast at the start of a state dinner on Saturday evening. "We're proud to say, the generals with me today can say as well, that our armed forces stand side by side, standing on a peninsula for seven decades to preserve the peace and make possible that shared prosperity." He was likely to take a similar message to Japan, which also hosts a sizable population of American service members and maintains a mutual defense treaty with the United States. Increased provocations from North Korea and territorial grabs by China have caused deep concern in the country, which has looked to the US for assurances about its security. Biden is expected to call on Emperor Naruhito at his imperial palace before meeting Monday with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who took office last fall. Later, he'll unveil the outlines of a trade plan for Asia that officials hope can generate wide support. And he'll conclude his visit with a summit of the Quad collective — comprised of the United States, Japan, India and Australia — that is widely seen as an attempt to counter China's military and economic ambitions. Biden has sought on his trip to link the parallel sets of economic and security issues that have emerged in his discussions with leaders. His trade outline, viewed as a scaled-down alternative to the Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact scrapped by his predecessor, is expected to place heavy emphasis on resilient supply chains decoupled from Chinese parts — a message he conveyed at multiple points in Seoul. Among the other myriad issues he hopes to raise — which include regional security, trade, the Covid pandemic and the Ukraine war — is the question of improving ties between the two countries he is visiting this week. Relations between Japan and South Korea have worsened over recent years, a combination of long-simmering historical resentments and more recent trade actions. Biden told reporters in Seoul on Saturday "it's critically important" the US, South Korea and Japan have a "very close trilateral relationship." He said the current state of the world, where autocratic regimes like China and Russia have challenged democratic norms, demands the rest of the world stick together, despite lingering differences. "Things have changed," Biden said during his news conference. "There's a sense among the democracies in the Pacific that there's a need to cooperate much more closely, not just militarily but also economically and politically."
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