Tulsi Gabbard announced Thursday that she will suspend her 2020 Democratic presidential campaign and endorsed Joe Biden.
The state of play: While she was one of the final three candidates left in the race, alongside Biden and Bernie Sanders, the Hawaii congresswoman failed to gain traction in any primary and hadn’t qualified for a debate since last year.
- She did pick up two delegates in the caucuses in American Samoa, where she was born.
What she’s saying: “I know Vice President Biden and his wife and am grateful to have called his son Beau, who also served in the National Guard, a friend. Although I may not agree with the vice president on every issue, I know that he has a good heart and is motivated by his love for our country and the American people,” she said in a campaign email.
- “I’m confident that he will lead our country guided by the spirit of aloha — respect and compassion — and thus help heal the divisiveness that has been tearing our country apart.”
- “Today, I’m suspending my presidential campaign, and offering my full support to Vice President Joe Biden in his quest to bring our country together.”
Worth noting: In February 2016, Gabbard quit as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee in order to endorse Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton.
The big picture: An Iraq War veteran and member of the Hawaii Army National Guard, she entered the race with a complicated record, especially on foreign policy, and had long been a favorite of fringe voices on the right, who often amplified her comments via social media.
- She met with President Trump during his transition and joined Republicans in promoting the use of the phrase “radical Islam.”
- A secret trip to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in January 2017 resulted in further backlash against Gabbard, who dubbed the trip a “fact-finding” mission.
- She later voted “present” on Trump’s impeachment in December, going against the overwhelming majority in her party.
Flashback: Gabbard made waves after Hillary Clinton suggested that she was a “favorite of the Russians.”
- Several of Gabbard’s fellow 2020 competitors came to her defense, as did Trump.