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Tulsi Gabbard Takes Break From Presidential Campaign to Report for Active Duty

On Monday, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard announced that she will be taking a two-week break from her presidential campaign so that she can report for active duty with the Hawaiian Army National Guard.

‘Joining My Brothers and Sisters’

“I’m stepping off of the campaign trail for a couple of weeks and putting on my Army uniform to go on a joint training exercise mission in Indonesia,” Gabbard told CBSN’s Caitlin Huey-Burns in an interview.

“I will be doing a training exercise with the Indonesian military, focused on a few different things like counterterrorism, humanitarian aid, and disaster response,” she continued. “And joining my brothers and sisters from the Hawaii National Guard in doing so.”

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Gabbard said her supporters had urged her to find a way to avoid pausing her campaign, but she says she’s looking forward to serving before returning to political life.

‘I’m Looking Forward to Being Able to Fulfill My Service and My Responsibility’

“I love our country, I love being able to serve our country in so many ways including as a soldier,’ Gabbard said. “So, while some people are telling me like, ‘Gosh, this is a terrible time to leave the campaign, can’t you find a way out of it,’ you know, that’s not what this is about.”

“I’m not really thinking about how this will impact my campaign,” Gabbard continued. “I’m looking forward to being able to fulfill my service and my responsibility.”

Gabbard said she knows the deadline to qualify for the next primary debate is soon and she hasn’t met the thresholds for inclusion, but said “there’s a lot that is out of [her] control.”


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Gabbard has met her donor mark of 130,000 individual donors, but still needs to register at at least 2 percent or higher is recognized polls.

“I’ll be paying attention to obviously what’s going on, and watching the news, and keeping up on things, but I will be stepping away from the campaign and relying on my campaign team to do what they do,” Gabbard said, explaining that she will not be able to check in with her campaign during her time on active duty.

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Military Life Informs Her Political Leadership

Gabbard has made clear her time in the military is part of what drives her in her congressional role.

“I think it’s an added value in bringing these two different perspectives together – those of the policy makers in Washington and that of a soldier that is charged with executing the mission that they’re charged with,” she said.

Indeed. While Tulsi Gabbard has many leftwing views mot conservatives abhor, she has pushed a strong antiwar message during the 2020 primaries, making many of these same criticisms of America’s wars overseas that President Trump has, particularly regarding the failed Iraq War.

It’s a message more of her fellow Democrats should take note of – especially when coming from someone in uniform.