One of the top Democratic congressional critics of President Obama’s foreign policy resigned her seat as a vice-chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee and endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) announced her support in a video today and was in Minnesota to campaign for Bernie.
Gabbard had been at odds with DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) for what she saw as a sparse debate schedule rigged to hand the nomination to Hillary Clinton.
“As a veteran and as a soldier I’ve seen firsthand the true cost of war. I served in a medical unit during my first deployment where every single day I saw firsthand the very high human cost of that war. I see it in my friends who now a decade after we’ve come home are still struggling to get out of a black hole,” the congresswoman told NBC this morning.
“I think it’s most important for us as we look at our choices as to who our next commander in chief will be is to recognize the necessity to have a commander in chief who has foresight, who exercises good judgment, who looks beyond the consequences, who looks at the consequences of the actions that they are looking to take before they take those actions so that we don’t continue to find ourselves in these failures that have resulted in chaos in the Middle East and so much loss of life,” she added.
Gabbard said she believes there’s “a hunger for a leader, a commander in chief who is honest, who has integrity, who exercises good judgment.”
“The communication of the contrast between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is something that has begun and I think needs to continue to grow to make sure that as we continue through the next Super Tuesday states that are voting and beyond that voters are equipped with the right information, especially as it pertains to war and peace and how these decisions impact these communities of color, how they impact communities that are coming from a different place,” she said.
The DNC released a statement from Wasserman Schultz saying she was “grateful” for Gabbard’s tenure.
“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.”
In October, Wasserman Schultz denied Gabbard’s claim that she was disinvited from the Las Vegas debate for disagreeing with her DNC colleagues. Gabbard said then that “the prevailing message of that was because I continued to call for more debates, that I should not go to the debate there in Las Vegas…The issue here is not about me saying boo-hoo, I’m going to miss the party. The issue here is one of democracy, of freedom of speech and defending that which so many have sacrificed and given their lives for.”
Sanders called Gabbard “one of the important voices of a new generation of leaders.”
“As a veteran of the Iraq War she understands the cost of war and is fighting to create a foreign policy that not only protects America but keeps us out of perpetual wars that we should not be in,” Sanders said.