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Tulsi Gabbard Drops Out of Presidential Race, Endorses Biden

Tulsi

Of all the Democratic candidates, the 38-year-old congresswoman had the most problematic LGBTQ record.

Nbroverman

After dismal primary showings, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has formally exited the race and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for the presidency.

Gabbard made the announcement in a video posted to social media on Thursday, highlighting how the world must come together to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.

"I feel that the best way I can be of service at this time is to continue to work for the health and well-being of the people of Hawai'i and our country in Congress and to stand ready to serve in uniform should the Hawai'i National Guard be activated. ... So today I'm suspending my presidential campaign and offering my full support to Joe Biden to bring our country together."

Gabbard's embrace of Biden is a turnaround from 2016, when she endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. The endorsement is also surprising since Gabbard has sparred publicly with another high-ranking Obama adminstration official, 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The former secretary of State said last year that the Russians were supporting Gabbard's campaign and the GOP hoped for her to run as a third-party spoiler. The Army veteran, who served two tours of duty in the Middle East, responded by calling Clinton the "queen of warmongers" and sued her for her comments.

Though Gabbard ran a campaign focused on ending America's "forever wars" and redirecting military spending toward expanded health care and teacher salaries, she was not heartily embraced by LGBTQ voters. For a young politician, she has a checkered past on LGBTQ issues. She was a state legislator in 2004 when she denounced "homosexual extremists," who, she said, were falsely claiming there was a difference between civil unions and same-sex marriage. Hawaii was considering civil union legislation at the time. She also used the phrase to describe opponents of her father, Mike Gabbard, who ran an organization that worked against marriage equality and other LGBTQ causes, and reportedly endorsed conversion therapy.

Gabbard since apologized for her comments, now supports the Equality Act, and has a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's congressional scorecard.

Nbroverman
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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.