Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Tulsi Gabbard, Who Met Syrian President Assad, Announces 2020 Presidential Bid

(JTA) — Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who has met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and embraced nationalist leaders, announced she will run for president in 2020.

Gabbard made her announcement Friday during the taping of an interview that ran on CNN on Saturday. She said she will make a formal announcement in the coming week. Also on Saturday, Julian Castro, the grandson of a Mexican immigrant who served as housing secretary in President Barack Obama’s second term, announced that he would throw his hat in the ring.

Gabbard is the first Hindu member of Congress and an Iraq war veteran. She was a supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid in 2016. Sanders has not yet announced whether or not he will run again in 2020.

Gabbard, considered a political progressive, also has embraced American supporters of nationalist Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She made a secret visit to Syria in January 2017, saying it is important to meet with adversaries if “you are serious about pursuing peace.”

In 2015, she spoke at a conference of Christians United for Israel, which opposes Palestinian statehood and supports Israeli settlements in the West Bank. In January 2017, she published a statement in support of a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine. And in May 2018, she publicly slammed Israel for its use of live ammunition against “unarmed protesters” on the Gaza border as part of the so-called March of Return.

Castro served as mayor of San Antonio for five years. In 2011 he led a delegation of businessmen and clergy to Israel, where he signed a friendship-city agreement with Tel Aviv.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.