2020 candidate Tulsi Gabbard leaves the campaign trail for two weeks to report for active duty as a reservist but vows she WILL be back despite failing to become a Democratic frontrunner
- Tulsi Gabbard, who serves in Hawaii’s National Guard, is taking two weeks off the campaign trail for a training exercise in Indonesia
- It comes as her presidential campaign struggles to gain momentum
- ‘The experience that I’m having is no different from any other guardsmen or reservist in the country who puts their life aside for a couple of weeks,’ she said
- Gabbard is polling about 1 per cent nationally
- She is pushing to qualify for the third Democratic presidential primary debate
- She has the 130,000 unique donors but needs to hit 2 per cent in four polls
Tulsi Gabbard, who serves in Hawaii’s National Guard, is taking two weeks off the campaign trail to participate in a training exercise mission in Indonesia as her presidential bid struggles to gain momentum.
‘The experience that I’m having is no different from any other guardsmen or reservist in the country who puts their life aside for a couple of weeks and goes and fulfills that training and that responsibility,’ she told reporters of her deployment on Saturday after she spoke at a gun forum here.
Her deployment begins Monday and comes after she wraps up a series of campaign stops in Iowa, including spending time at the state fair – the must-attend political event of the summer.
It also comes as her presidential campaign struggles to catch fire among voters and in the polls in the crowded Democratic primary field.
Tulsi Gabbard, who serves in Hawaii’s National Guard, is taking two weeks off the campaign trail for a training exercise in Indonesia
Gabbard serves as a major and has been in the reserves since 2003
Gabbard’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination has struggled to gain traction
She sits in 8th place in the RealClearPolitics polling average and is polling around 1 per cent in national surveys.
That number isn’t enough for her to gain entry into the third Democratic presidential debate as the August 28 qualifying deadline approaches.
Gabbard has obtained the 130,000 unique donors needed to be in September’s debate in Houston, but she had not hit 2 per cent in four polls on the race.
She has emailed supporters for their help, urging them to answer phone calls from unknown numbers as it may be a pollster and asking them to sign up to participate in polls from YouGov, an online pollster whose surveys count toward the debate qualification.
‘Whenever you’re asked to take a poll, take it!’ Gabbard’s campaign wrote in an email to supporters. ‘We have thousands of supporters in every state – if only a handful of us are selected for a poll, it can make a difference.’
Gabbard, a four-term Democratic congresswoman from Hawaii, has stressed her military service in her pitches to voters.
She said her time in the National Guard gives her a ‘new perspective’ that would be valuable to a commander-in-chief.
‘Being able to put on those boots, and wear the uniform and spend time with soldiers in this country who are dealing with the impacts and consequences of the decisions that are being made gives me a new perspective,’ she told reporters in Iowa.
‘Especially in the job that I am seeking to serve our country’s president and commander in chief, having that unique perspective, I think is very important one and never ever forgetting, who has volunteered to know the plot of this country have put their lives on the line for this country, and therefore can pay the price for the decisions that are being paid,’ she added.
Tulsi Gabbard takes a selfie with a voter at the State Fair in Iowa
Gabbard, seen above in the second Democratic debate, is struggling to make the third one
During her time in the reserves, Gabbard was deployed to Iraq and Kuwait
And while she’s argued her time in uniform strengthens her foreign policy credentials, the congresswoman has also come under fire from both Democrats and Republicans for a trip she took to Syria in 2017 to meet with Bashar al-Assad.
Gabbard, who has the rank of major, enlisted in the Hawaii Army National Guard in 2003. She served in Iraq from 2004-2005 and was deployed to Kuwait from 2008 to 2009.
She joined Congress in 2013 and took two weeks off in 2017 to report for a training mission.
‘I’ve served in the Army National Guard now for a little over 16 years,’ she said. ‘And I’m proud and grateful to have the opportunity to serve our country in that way as well as the way that I’m serving the Congress.’