Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) on Thursday dropped out of the Democrat presidential primary race and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden.
Gabbard’s departure comes after clinching just two delegates from American Samoa’s caucuses and failing to qualify for any debates this year. The Hawaii Democrat, who resigned as Democrat National Committee (DNC) vice chairwoman to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) White House campaign in 2016, opted this time around to back Biden, despite her anti-establishment leanings.
“After Tuesday’s election, it is clear that Democratic Primary voters have chosen Vice President Joe Biden to be the person who will take on President Trump in the general election,” Gabbard said in a video shared to Twitter.
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 19, 2020
“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. 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,” she added. “So 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.”
Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran and member of the Hawaii Army National Guard, came under fire from the Democrat establishment for her anti-war views and conciliatory approach toward Russia. In October, Hillary Clinton appeared on a podcast hosted by David Plouffe, President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign manager, in which she appears to suggest that the congresswoman was an asset of the Kremlin.
“[Russia] has a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting [Gabbard] so far. That’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she is also a Russian asset,” Clinton mused. “They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate, and so I do not know who it’s going to be, but I can guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most need it.”
In January, Gabbard filed a lawsuit against Clinton over her remarks, alleging that the former secretary of state “smeared” her “political and personal reputation.”
Gabbard voted “present” on President Donald Trump’s impeachment in December, breaking with the overwhelming majority of her House Democrat colleagues.