Statement by Tulsi Gabbard on Decision to Continue to Campaign for President and Declining to Seek Re-Election to the House of Representatives
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Democratic candidate for President, announced today that she will focus her efforts on her presidential campaign and will not seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives. Gabbard announced her decision in an email and video to supporters.
She released the following statement:
"I'm so grateful to the people of Hawai'i for allowing me to serve you in Congress for the last seven years. Throughout my life, I've been motivated by a desire to serve the people of Hawai'i and our country, and have made my decisions based upon where I felt I could do the most good.
Our country is so divided, and we live in an increasingly dangerous world. We are ever closer to being sucked into another even more disastrous war in the Middle East (Iran). Tensions are increasing with other nuclear-armed countries like Russia and China, leading us to a new Cold War and nuclear arms race, pushing us closer to the threat of nuclear annihilation. In light of these challenges, I believe I can best serve the people of Hawai'i and our country as President and Commander-in-Chief.
"Bringing the experience I have both as a soldier serving over 16 years in the Army National Guard, deploying twice to the Middle East, serving in Congress for nearly seven years on the Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, and Homeland Security Committees, I am prepared to walk into the Oval Office ready to take command on day one.
"As President, I will immediately begin work to end the new Cold War and nuclear arms race, end our interventionist foreign policy of being the world's police, toppling dictators and governments we don't like, and redirect our precious resources towards serving the needs of the people here at home.
As such, I will not be seeking re-election to Congress in 2020, and humbly ask you for your support for my candidacy for President of the United States."
I am so grateful.
Grateful to call Hawai'i home; grateful for our people and the spirit of aloha that binds us all together; and grateful for our precious 'āina, beautiful oceans, and towering mountains.
Most of all, I'm grateful to all of you — the people of Hawai'i — for allowing me the honor of serving you in so many ways over the years.
At just 21 years old, the people of Ewa Beach and Waipahu entrusted me with their votes, electing me to serve as their State Representative at a pivotal time of rapid growth in the community.
Two years later, you supported my decision to step away from that seat in the State Legislature when I volunteered to deploy to Iraq with the Hawai'i Army National Guard. There was no way I could stay home in beautiful Hawai'i as my brothers and sisters in uniform marched off to serve in a war zone on the other side of the world.
I'm grateful to our dearest Senator Daniel K. Akaka, Auntie Millie, and the Akaka 'ohana who welcomed me as one of their own when I returned from that Iraq deployment. Serving as a legislative aide to Senator Akaka in Washington, witnessing his example of what it truly means to live and lead with aloha, was a great honor and experience I treasure to this day.
After returning home from my second Middle East deployment, the people of Honolulu's Council District 6 allowed me to serve them — filling potholes, fighting to protect our environment, empowering our small businesses and promoting economic development.
Since 2012, the people of Hawaii's second congressional district have voted resoundingly through four elections for me to be your voice in Washington. We have been through a lot and accomplished so much together. From Pele's eruptions in Puna, to historic flooding on Kaua'i, and the missile alert last year, which reawakened us all to the fact that our lives could end at any moment — and that we must do everything we can to prevent a nuclear holocaust. The strength of our families and communities, coming together and caring for one another through thick and thin, makes me so grateful.
Throughout my life, the thought of a "political career" never crossed my mind. I've always done my best to serve where I felt I could make the most impact. It's this principle of service above self that has motivated the decisions I've made throughout my life.
And it's why I'm running for President.
At this time when our country is so divided, and our world is moving ever closer to a nuclear holocaust; a time when we may be sucked into another even more disastrous war in the Middle East, and tensions with other nuclear powers are escalating, and with that, a new arms race and Cold War that can only end in nuclear catastrophe, I believe I can best serve the people of Hawai'i and our country as your President and Commander-in-Chief.
Bringing the experience I have both as a soldier serving over 16 years in the Army National Guard, deploying twice to the Middle East, serving in Congress for nearly 7 years on the Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, and Homeland Security Committees, I am prepared to walk into the Oval Office on Day 1 to do that job.
As President, I will immediately begin work to end the new Cold War and nuclear arms race, end our interventionist foreign policy of carrying out regime change wars, and redirect our precious resources towards serving the needs of the people here at home.
As such, I will not be seeking re-election to Congress in 2020, and humbly ask you for your support for my candidacy for President of the United States.
Washington, our country, and the world is in dire need of aloha. Only aloha has the power to heal the divisive wounds in our nation. Only aloha has the power to bring our nation together — recognizing we are all God's children, and we are all Americans. As President, I will lead with aloha — putting people ahead of profits, putting people ahead of politics, putting the wellbeing of our people and our planet above all else.
Aunty Pilahi Paki said: "The world will turn to Hawai'i as they search for world peace because Hawai'i has the key … and that key is Aloha!"
Dr. Martin Luther King saw the power of aloha when he first visited our Islands and addressed the Hawai'i House of Representatives in 1959.
He said: "…we look to you for inspiration and as a noble example, where you have already accomplished in the area of racial harmony and racial justice, what we are struggling to accomplish in other sections of the country, and you can never know what it means to those of us caught for the moment in the tragic and often dark midnight of man's inhumanity to man, to come to a place where we see the glowing daybreak of freedom and dignity and racial justice."
After returning to the mainland Dr. King said of his visit:
"As I looked at all of these various faces and various colors mingled together like the waters of the sea, I could see only one face — the face of the future!"
Hawai'i is and will always be my home and you, the people of Hawai'i, will always be my heart. I carry my love for Hawai'i and our people everywhere I go. Please know that I will always do my best to serve you, our state, and our country with aloha.
Ke Akua me ke aloha.
Mahalo nui loa,
Tulsi Gabbard, Statement by Tulsi Gabbard on Decision to Continue to Campaign for President and Declining to Seek Re-Election to the House of Representatives Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/364863