Gabbard Suspends Presidential Campaign, Endorses Biden

March 19, 2020 Updated: March 19, 2020
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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has suspended her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination and endorsed former rival Joe Biden.

Biden’s victories in three primaries on March 17, adding to his series of recent wins in Democratic primaries, convinced Gabbard—who was one of three contenders left in a once-crowded field—that voters want him as the nominee.

Gabbard, 38, said that she knows Biden, 77, his wife, Jill Biden, and was a friend of Biden’s late son, Beau.

“Although I may not agree with the Vice President on every issue, I know that he has a good heart and he’s motivated by his love for our country and the American people,” Gabbard said in a video statement on March 19. “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.”

Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 78, are the only remaining Democratic contenders.

Gabbard said she was extending her “best wishes” to Sanders, his wife, Jane, and their supporters.

Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden
Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), left, and former Vice President Joe Biden, participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate in Charleston, S.C., on Feb. 25, 2020. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

“I have a great appreciation for Senator Sanders’s love for our country and the American people and his sincere desire to improve the lives of all Americans,” she said.

Gabbard announced her entry in the 2020 race in January 2019. She struggled to build a coalition of supporters and won only two delegates, both from American Samoa, before dropping out. Gabbard was attacked by some media outlets and data showed she received a smaller amount of coverage than her polling position indicated she should get.

Gabbard positioned herself as an anti-war candidate. The Army veteran repeatedly said that she doesn’t support “regime-change wars” and said the money would be spent better elsewhere.

“I will bring an end to this failed foreign policy and withdraw America from ongoing conflict that achieves nothing and wastes so much,” she said on her campaign website.

Gabbard also supported abortion, called for gun-control measures, and wanted to implement a single-payer health care system that would cover every American, with private insurance also accepted.

With Biden’s latest wins, Sanders has a narrowing window to earn delegates. The senator’s campaign said March 18 that he would assess his bid. A campaign spokesman said later in the day that the senator isn’t suspending his campaign.

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