Tulsi Gabbard: What does she stand for?
The Samoan-born, Hindu-raised war veteran putting her hat in the ring for U.S President, Tulsi Gabbard is a woman of mixed political stances.
Her bid for presidency has prompted responses across the board, asking for her beliefs on marriage equality, gun control, foreign affairs and more.
Gabbard, who served in the Hawaii House of Representatives from 2002-2004, has made her position on a variety of topics clear.
In 2015, Big Island Now reported Gabbard calling the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement “disastrous for American Jobs,” and that it will benefit multinational corporations over “hardworking Americans.”
According to Gabbard, she opposes the T.P.P.A due to impacts on the environment. An advocate for environment conservation, Gabbard joined protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock.
In 2017, she sponsored the first House legislation to transition the United States to renewable energy by 2035, the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act.
On abortion she maintains a prochoice stance, but on LGBT issues her position has shifted. Early in her career, Gabbard insisted same-sex marriage is “dishonest” to the people of Hawaii, but today said it is not the place of Government to intrude into the personal lives of its citizens, as reported by the Honolulu Civil Beat.
She is in support of removing marijuana from the federal controlled substances list, as part of criminal justice reforms.
However, Gabbard has also seen her share of controversy. Democrats criticised her meeting President Bashar al-Assad in Syria in 2017 which had not been planned before she departed.
““Initially I hadn’t planned on meeting him,” Gabbard told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “When the opportunity arose to meet with him, I did so, because I felt it’s important that if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we’ve got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there is a possibility that we could achieve peace. And that’s exactly what we talked about,” the Guardian reports.
When she met then President-elect Donald Trump during his transition in November 2016, an anonymous Democrat told NBC News that Gabbard is the “most Trumpian Democrat in Congress.
“If Trump is going to do outreach to a Democrat, she is the least shocking person he could do,” they said.
In November 2018, Gabbard was criticised when she did not sign the letter of opposition to Stephen Bannon’s appointment as chief strategist.
But in February 2017, she spoke out against Trump’s “Muslim ban”, saying: “we need to responsibly ensure thorough vetting is in place, but more importantly, we need to stop the regime-change war that is causing people to flee their country.”