Tulsi Gabbard officially launches 2020 campaign after rocky start

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard officially launched her 2020 presidential campaign in Hawaii on Saturday, drawing on her service in the National Guard as guiding her longshot bid for the White House.

“It is this principle of service above self that is at the heart of every soldier, at the heart of every service member, and it is in this spirit that today I announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America,” Gabbard said at an event in Honolulu, Hawaii.

“I will bring this soldier’s principles to the White House, restoring the values of dignity, honor and respect to the presidency and above all else, love for our people and love for our country,” Gabbard said. “I ask you to join me, join me in putting this spirit, this spirit of service above self at the forefront and to stand up against the forces of greed and corruption.”

She added, “The road ahead will not be easy. The battles will be tough. The obstacles great, but I know when we stand united by our love for our people and for our country, there is no obstacle we cannot overcome. There is no battle we cannot win.”

The official launch of Gabbard’s campaign gives her presidential bid a chance at a reset after weeks of discord heading into the announcement.

Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran who gained national prominence in 2016 as an outspoken supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign, will run for President as an anti-interventionalist Democrat who support a populist economic agenda.

While the congresswoman has highlighted health care access, criminal justice reform and climate change as key platform issues for her presidential run, her tenure in Congress has been defined by her anti-interventionist foreign policy positions and her campaign is expected to, as well. Those views drew criticism when, in 2017, Gabbard met with Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad during a visit to the war-torn country.

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