Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard suspended her presidential campaign Thursday and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president.
Gabbard remained in the race despite missing the cut for numerous debates and polling lower than both Biden and Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The lawmaker opted not to seek reelection in the House because of her presidential campaign.
Amid spread of the novel coronavirus, Gabbard announced she could serve by working “for the health and wellbeing of the people of Hawaii and our country in Congress, and to stand ready to serve in uniform should the Hawaii National Guard be activated.”
“So today, I’m suspending my presidential campaign, and offering my full support to Vice President Joe Biden in his quest to bring our country together,” Gabbard said in her announcement. (RELATED: Gabbard’s Opening Statement: Impeachment Divides America)
— Tulsi Gabbard ???? (@TulsiGabbard) March 19, 2020
“After Tuesday’s election, it is clear that Democratic Primary voters have chosen Vice President Joe Biden to be the person who will take on President Trump in the general election,” she continued.
Biden has come up big in many of the primaries. He most recently won all three primaries Tuesday in Florida, Arizona and Illinois. Gabbard’s endorsement is just one in a long list of former presidential candidates who have chosen to back Biden over Sanders.
The Hawaii congresswoman was the first female combat veteran to announce a presidential bid. The 38-year-old focused on foreign policy throughout her campaign and called out former first lady Hillary Clinton after the latter accused her of being a Russian asset.
Gabbard also sued Clinton for defamation over the comments.
“It should have been for $50 billion,” Gabbard said, according to NBC News. “This is who I am. And so to so directly dismiss the value, the honor, the loyalty and sacrifices, not only for me, but for any service member in this country, it can’t go unchecked.”
“My motivation is always coming from a deep love of country,” Gabbard said on The Hill’s “Rising.”
“And that’s where, after doing my due diligence and going through the exhaustive report that was put out … I came to that conclusion that I could not, in good conscience, vote either ‘yes’ or ‘no.'”