Tulsi Gabbard (/ˈtʌlsi ˈɡæbərd/; born April 12, 1981) is an American former politician and United States Army Reserve officer who served as the U.S. representative for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district from 2013 to 2021. Elected in 2012, she was the first Hindu member of Congress and also the first Samoan-American voting member of Congress. In early February 2019 she announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 United States presidential election.
- The United States of America should always stand for religious freedom for all people in all countries and should always work to that end.
- I’ve never heard him say anything hateful, or say anything mean about anybody … I can speak to my own personal experience and, frankly, my gratitude to him, for the gift of this wonderful spiritual practice that he has given to me, and to so many people.
- Hey @realdonaldtrump: being Saudi Arabia's bitch is not "America First."
- On official US responses accommodating extensive Saudia Arabian disinformation regarding strong evidence of the deliberate murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in their consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, as quoted in "Gabbard skewers Trump on Saudi Arabia stance with profanity in tweet" (November 21, 2018)
- Will you stand for the humanity of the Yemeni people? Will you stand against Saudi Arabia’s genocidal war? Or will you continue to support this war that has caused 22 million Yemeni people to be in desperate need of humanitarian aid? To cause these 85,000 children to have died from starvation, to have caused the dropping of U.S.-made bombs on innocent civilians, killing tens of thousands of people. This is such an urgent action that must be taken by the United States Congress to assert its authority and end United States support for this genocidal war in Yemen.
- Trump… Nikki Haley...Mike Pompeo... The people around John Bolton. These people are advocating for strengthening our economy, and if the only way they can do that is by building that economy based on building and selling weapons to countries that are using them to slaughter and murder innocent people, then we need new leaders in this country. The American people deserve better than that.
- As quoted in "Will the New Congress End U.S. Allegiance to Saudi Arabia and the War in Yemen?", interview by Sharmini Peries, in The Real News (January 6, 2019)
- I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week. … 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 … There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace … I look forward to being able to get into this and to talk about it in depth when we make our announcement.
- Indicating her intent to formally declare her candidacy as the Democratic nominee for the US Presidency, to Van Jones, during an interview recorded January 11, 2019, for The Van Jones Show, as quoted in "Tulsi Gabbard says she will run for president in 2020" by Caroline Kelly, CNN (11 January 2019) · full interview on The Van Jones Show (January 12, 2019)
- When I deployed to Iraq with my fellow soldiers, putting our lives on the line for our country, no one questioned our patriotism because of our religion. No one asked whether we could be trusted because we were Jewish, Catholic, Muslim or atheist. We all took an oath to serve our country and defend the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution.
My military service has shaped who I am today. While in the Middle East, I saw how quickly religious sectarianism and bigotry can lead to the disintegration of a country — how leaders manipulate people to fear others who are different, who look different or who have different beliefs.
I also experienced how we as people of the world have more in common than we think. Beneath our various beliefs and appearances is our common humanity. This commitment to equality and justice for all is the ideal that our country was founded upon and that we continue to aspire to as people. We cannot be complacent and must vigilantly affirm this again and again, as bigotry and hatred have an insidious way of seeping into our society.
- Our country was established on the basis of freedom of religion, and the Constitution states there would never be any religious test for any public office. It is a freedom enshrined in our Constitution, and that every member of Congress takes an oath to protect — a freedom that many heroes have given their lives to defend. Nothing is more important to our democracy than this freedom.
- "Tulsi Gabbard: Religious bigotry is un-American", in Religious News Service (26 January 2019)
- The fact that marijuana's still a Schedule I drug is unacceptable in the harm that it is causing to the people of our country and to taxpayers as well...The impact this has on individuals, potentially leading to criminal records that impact them, their families, their ability to get a job, housing, financial aid for college—the impacts of this are great...
- I don't smoke marijuana. I never have... But I believe firmly in every person's freedom to make their own choices, and that people should not be thrown in jail and incarcerated or made into criminals for choosing to smoke marijuana whether it be for medicinal and non-medicinal purposes.
- There's no question that this overall war on drugs has not only been a failure, it has created and exacerbated a number of other problems that continue to afflict people in this country...
- Quoted in: For Tulsi Gabbard, Marijuana Sits At Nexus Of Good Policy And Smart Politics, Forbes, nu Tom Angell (March 7, 2019)
- Let me say that there is no one in our government, at any level, who has the right to tell any American who they should be allowed to love or who they should be allowed to marry. My record in Congress for over six years shows my commitment to fighting for LGBTQ equality. I serve on the equality caucus and recently voted for passage of the Equality Act... Maybe many people in this county can relate to the fact that I grew up in a socially conservative home, held views when I was very young that I no longer hold today. I served with LGBT service members both in training and deployed downrange. I know that they would give their life me, and I would give my life for them.
- How can you say Saudi Arabia is a great partner in fighting terrorism when they are fueling and funding terrorist groups in Yemen?
- If they can falsely portray me as a traitor, then they can do it to anyone -- and in fact, that's exactly the message they want to get across to you... If you stand up to Hillary and the party power brokers -- if you stand up to the rich and powerful elite and the war machine, they will destroy you and discredit your message. But, here is the truth: They will not intimidate us. They will not silence us.
- People warned me in 2016 that my endorsement of Bernie Sanders would be the end of my 'political career' -- they said Clinton would never forget... that she and her rich and powerful friends -- her allies in politics and the media -- will make sure you're destroyed.
- The New York Times and CNN have smeared veterans like myself for calling for an end to this regime-change war. Just two days ago, The New York Times put out an article saying I'm a Russian asset and an Assad apologist, and all these different smears. This morning, a CNN commentator said on national television that I'm an asset of Russia. Completely despicable.
- "Gabbard, in defiant video, links Clinton 'smears' to her previous Sanders endorsement" Fox News (October 20, 2019)
- Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain.
- Twitter post published by Fox News. (October 18, 2019)
- "RSS is KKK of India"
- Warmongers argue that we must protect Ukraine because it is a “democracy.” But they’re lying. Ukraine isn't actually a democracy. To hold onto power, Ukraine's president shut down the 3 TV stations that criticized him, and imprisoned the head of the opposition political party which came in 2nd place in the election, and arrested and jailed its leaders (exactly what Putin has been accused of doing)—all with the support of U.S.
- February 19, 2022 via Nitter account
- I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party. It’s now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue & stoking anti-white racism, who actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms enshrined in our Constitution.
- Statement on The Tulsi Gabbard Show podcast, cited in "Tulsi Gabbard, who sought 2020 Democratic nomination, says she’s leaving party" CNN (October 11, 2022)
Quotes about Gabbard
- Gabbard may be a progressive vote on social and environmental issues, but on defense she’s solidly pro-military. … "I understand firsthand the value of using counter-terrorism warfare tactics and strategies overseas in dealing with 21st century threats," she said. "But these tactics should never be used against our own citizens here at home. Just as U.S. law enforcement strategies do not apply in war with a foreign enemy, drone strikes and other counter-terrorism tactics should not be targeting non-combatant U.S. citizens."
"I think there’s no question that the use of drones in civilian causalities is absolutely wrong, as well as the use of drones against American citizens who have the right to due process within our own system." … And that’s the all of Gabbard’s March 8 statement on drones. She said much the same thing on Meet the Press on March 10, insisting that drone attacks needed to occur over "enemy territory." Gabbard is saying that she supports the use of drones to kill suspected terrorists, including those born in the U.S., as long as it happens overseas. Her use of qualifiers like "at home" and "non-combatant" make that clear.
This is identical to current U.S. policy.
- On July 29, the U.S. House of Representatives, with more than 100 co-sponsors from both parties, passed a resolution by unanimous consent insisting that the Israeli attacks were exclusively "focused on terrorist targets" and that Israel "goes to extraordinary lengths to target only terrorist actors." Co-sponsors included such prominent Democrats as Alan Grayson (FL), Jared Polis (CO), Eric Swalwell (CA), Richard Neal (MA), Joseph Kennedy (MA), Tulsi Gabbard (HI), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Brad Sherman (CA), Elliot Engel (NY), and Debbie Wasserman-Schulz (FL)
- Gabbard initially refused to say who financed her trip to Syria. However, in a press release Wednesday Gabbard revealed her delegation had been "led and sponsored by" an outfit called the Arab American Community Center for Economic and Social Services (AACCESS—Ohio). Her statement added she and the rest of the delegation had been accompanied by two men, Elie and Bassam Khawam.
Who, then, are the Khawams? Gabbard’s press release described the pair as "longtime peace advocates."
In truth, Bassam and Elie Khawam are both officials in the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), a political party and paramilitary organization founded in Lebanon in 1932, and currently actively engaged in the Syrian civil war on the side of the Assad regime. The pair are two of the key U.S.-based point men for the party — and, by extension, the Syrian dictatorship. On its home turf of Lebanon, the SSNP is known for many things, peace advocacy not being one of them.
- Alex Rowell, Tim Mak, and Michael Weiss, in "Tulsi Gabbard’s Fascist Escorts to Syria", in The Daily Beast (26 January 2017); to this article was appended the update:
- Subsequent to the publication of this article, one of the members of Congresswoman Gabbard's delegation, Elie Khawam, contacted The Daily Beast. While admitting that he was a member of the SSNP, he claimed the party had no official involvement "in any way, shape, or form" with the congresswoman's delegation. "The SSNP has nothing to do with that trip, or with any trip that we [meaning him and his brother, Bassam] ever made in the past or in the future. It is totally independent," he asserted. Mr Khawam also objected to being described as a "fascist," claiming his party's anti-Jewish rhetoric had "nothing to do with Jews as a religion."
- All politicians must act as if they enjoy patriotic ceremonies, but Gabbard is one of the few who seem as if they were not acting. She is thirty-six, and has a knack for projecting both youthful joy and grownup gravitas. Her political profile is similarly hybrid. She is a fervent Bernie Sanders supporter with equally fervent bipartisan tendencies — known, roughly equally, for her concern for the treatment of veterans and her opposition to U.S. intervention abroad. She is also a vegetarian and a practicing Hindu — the first Hindu ever elected to Congress — as well as a lifelong surfer and an accomplished athlete. On Capitol Hill, she is often regarded as a glamorous anomaly: a Hawaiian action figure, fabulously out of place among her besuited colleagues. “She’s almost straight from central casting, if you need a heroine,” Van Jones, the progressive activist, says.
- The wake up call, for most of us, came when Gabbard met with Trump soon after his inauguration and then with Assad, instead of marching on DC with us and the rest of the Hawaii’s congressional delegation during the Women’s March in protest of what has become an unprecedented abolition of human and civil rights in America. … The incumbent clearly has an agenda that does not involve her constituents and we are waking up to the fact that our needs are taking a back seat to her ambitions.
- Sherry Alu Campagna, unsuccessful primary challenger for her Congressional seat, as quoted in "Tulsi Gabbard: how a progressive rising star is a paradox for the left" by Sabrina Siddiqui, in The Guardian (August 10, 2018)
- Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard — who typically chooses words carefully — lit up the internet Wednesday with a scathing tweet criticizing President Trump for standing by Saudi Arabia’s rulers despite the murder of journalist. The tweet, which included a profane word, has been liked more than 70,000 times and generated national headlines. And her office made clear that the tweet wasn’t a slip-up, but reflected her true feelings. Political onlookers say it’s the latest example of a Hawaii politician, like those on the mainland, using profane and at-times crass language to try cut through the noise and make a point.
- Whether Gabbard will mount a bid for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president is something she said she’s "thinking through very carefully." … Gabbard would join a crowded Democratic field if she does run. By some estimates it may include more 30 people, many of whom, like former Vice President Joe Biden, have decades more experience and greater name recognition.
Yet she won't have to worry about standing out.
She's almost guaranteed to be the youngest. Right now, she's barely old enough to run. The Constitution requires the president to be at least 35. She's part Samoan, part Caucasian. She's the first Hindu elected to Congress, and was sworn into office with her hand on the Bhagavad Gita. Her parents homeschooled her and her four siblings. She's a combat veteran. She was first elected to office at age 21, when she won a seat in the Hawaii state House of Representatives. She surfs in her spare time.
- The first Hindu woman to serve in the House, Gabbard would be the youngest US president ever if she wins; she'll be 39 on Inauguration Day 2021.
- Neal Colgrass, in "War Veteran Throws Hat in the Ring for 2020", newer (January 12, 2019)
- While most candidates shy away from foreign policy, Congressmember Gabbard has made foreign policy—particularly ending war—the centerpiece of her campaign. She was truly impressive in her March 10 CNN Town Hall, talking more honestly about U.S. wars than any other presidential candidate in recent history. Gabbard promises to end senseless wars like the one she witnessed as a National Guard officer in Iraq. She unequivocally states her opposition to U.S. "regime change" interventions, as well as the New Cold War and arms race with Russia, and supports rejoining the Iran nuclear deal. She was also an original cosponsor of Rep. Khanna's Yemen War Powers bill.
Gabbard still believes in a militarized approach to counterterrorism, despite studies showing that this feeds a self-perpetuating cycle of violence on both sides... She is still in the military herself and embraces what she calls a "military mindset." She ended her CNN Town Hall by saying that being Commander-in-Chief is the most important part of being president.
- Medea Benjamin & Nicolas J S Davies War and Peace and the 2020 Presidential Candidates, Common Dreams (March 27, 2019)
- Tulsi Gabbard was made to answer for her past advocacy for traditional marriage during the first 2020 Democratic primary debate. The weird thing is: The Hawaii congresswoman was the only candidate required all Wednesday evening to address controversial past statements and actions. That is bizarre, considering the debate lineup featured candidates with ugly personal histories and some with actual criminal backgrounds.
- “Let me say that there is no one in our government, at any level, who has the right to tell any American who they should be allowed to love or who they should be allowed to marry. My record in Congress for over six years shows my commitment to fighting for LGBTQ equality. I serve on the equality caucus and recently voted for passage of the Equality Act." Gabbard added, “Maybe many people in this county can relate to the fact that I grew up in a socially conservative home, held views when I was very young that I no longer hold today. I served with LGBT service members both in training and deployed downrange. I know that they would give their life me, and I would give my life for them.”
- Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and former Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard have been listed by Ukraine among a number of American politicians, academics and activists Kyiv claims have promoted "Russian propaganda."... The list was compiled by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, founded in 2021 by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky... Former Rep. Gabbard said that the U.S. had provoked Putin for many years and that there are 25 dangerous biolabs in Ukraine that could release deadly pathogens.
- Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, at official U.S. House website
- Tulsi Gabbard for Congress
- Healthy Hawai'i Coalition (HHC)
- Tulsi Gabbard at DMOZ
- "Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Gets Married in Traditional Hindu Wedding" (10 April 2015)
- Tulsi Gabbard: US Congresswoman, Hawaii — interview videos at Makers: Women Who Make America (2018)
- Official channel at YouTube
- Videos related to Tulsi Gabbard at YouTube